In the middle of coronavirus concerns, free TV streaming platform Pluto TV keeps growing

In a world where just about every American is being encouraged to stay inside as much as they can, it turns out there’s not a lot to do except watch television. And streaming companies are reaping the rewards.

Disney+ signups tripled last week, HBO Now usage went up 40%, and now free television service Pluto TV is reporting massive growth.

In a recent interview with AdExchanger, Pluto TV CEO Tom Ryan said that his company’s service (which was already experiencing wild growth) saw a “double-digit percentage increase week over week in total viewing hours.” The whole platform saw gains, but Ryan noted a striking increase in the number of people watching news. Total viewing hours on news stations nearly doubled, with a 74% increase from the weeks before.

Ryan also noted that bingeable TV shows were seeing a dramatic uptick, as were children’s shows (since most kids are out of school).

Pluto TV was already growing at an incredible pace. The company ended 2018 with about 12 million users who actively watched, but ended 2019 with a new owner (ViacomCBS) and numbers that nearly doubled to 22 million active views.

If anything, Ryan says, it’s a testament to the notion that viewers are perfectly willing to sit through ads for free content, something a recent study from Integral Ad Science also showed.

Artie Beaty