Pluto TV Adds Channels, Makes Impact Bow in Spain (EXCLUSIVE)

John Hopewell
·3-min read

In further growth in Europe, ViacomCBS’s Pluto TV, the U.S. media giant’s banner free ad-supported streamed TV linear service, is launching eight more channels in Spain, as it has unveiled data underscoring the impact of its Oct. 26 Spanish launch.

Set to bow on today Tuesday Dec. 1, and bringing Pluto TV’s total portfolio count up to 48 channels, Pluto TV Navidad will offer Xmas-themed movies such as “Surviving Christmas,” with Ben Affleck, James Gandolfini and Christina Applegate.

Pluto TV Kids Navidad, another pop-up channel, frames episodes of hit series such as “Rugrats” and “Sponge Bob.” The two new services will be accompanied by ambient channels Luces de Navidad (“Christmas Lights) and Chimenea (Chimney).

Already launched, another pop-up channel, MTV Hits Navidad, specializes in seasonal songs such as Ariane Grande’s “Santa Tell Me” and Coldplay’s “Christmas Lights.”

The services join three other new launches already airing on Pluto TV: MTV 16 and Pregnant, streaming over 24 hours episodes from the iconic MTV reality show; a dedicated Sponge Bob channel; and Cine Latino, showcasing both Latin American classics, such as Mexican comedian Gaspar Henaine’s 1964 title “Buenos Días, Acapulco” or recent releases – Chile’s “Hijo de Trauco,” for example.

The new services launch after Pluto TV hit Spain with a bang, becoming the top entertainment app download in Spain for more than three weeks, as well as the top-ranking free App on Android Playstore, Apple TV and Fire TV with a 4.6 rating on Apple’s App Store.

Best performing hits take in dedicated movie channel Pluto Cine and some single series channels, for example MTV Catfish and “Midsomer Murders.” Classic Spanish TV shows – 1970s mega hit “Curro Jiménez,” nanny comedy “Ana y los 7” – and genre specific movie channels – Pluto TV Cine Acción and Pluto TV Sci-Fi – have also performed well, ViacomCBS Networks International said Tuesday.

Combining an AVOD service for those who like to consume content on demand digitally while translating the linear model of more traditional TV into a digital space, Pluto TV’s launch in Spain came less than a month after ViacomCBS’s announcement in

September of the rebranding of CBS All Access as P Plus, an expanded premium SVOD service set to debut early next year.

In such a context, Pluto TV sits well as a complementary service in a streaming world that, until now, has been primarily on-demand and subscription-based, argued Olivier Jollet, ViacomCBS Networks International SVP of emerging business MEA and Asia, and a former managing director of Pluto Europe.

“In a crowded streaming environment, Pluto TV offers a unique proposition that combines the best of linear and VOD, creating a new streaming TV model based on curated channels,” Jollet said.

He added: “Pluto is linear in the age of on-demand, it’s free in the age of paid subscriptions. Pluto TV is simple and immediate, and it’s what people want, especially in markets where linear consumption is still very high, like Spain or France, where we are launching the service in early 2021.”

Also exploring broader audience options, Netflix is now testing linear channels in France.

67% of Europeans spend no more than €20 ($24) a month on subscription services. 74% predicted they will not spend any more than this in the next year. 69% would be likely or somewhat likely to watch ads in order to access free content, according to an IAB Europe Guide to Connected TV, published in June and cited by Comscore at a MipCancun presentation.

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