While all of the streaming services scramble to find ways to survive the looming arrival of Disney+, free streaming television service Pluto TV is quietly forging ahead, adding new channels that make it stand out in the already-crowded free TV market. Pluto TV already offers over 100 channels of free, ad-supported content but has now added a set of niche channels which could help it develop its own audience.
Pluto TV was acquired by Viacom earlier this year, and the telecom giant has wasted no time in bringing much of its A-list content to the free streaming TV service. In recent Months, Pluto has added programs from flagship Viacom networks like MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, and Comedy Central in what appears to be a bid for the millennial nostalgia market. Pluto ramped the nostalgia game up this week with the addition of 80s Rewind, a channel devoted to the best movies of the 1980s. 80s Rewind can be watched free on channel 65.
Pluto TV also launched two other specialty channels: TV Military, a channel which airs nothing but the best in television programs about the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces and their roles within the military; and ER Stories, a channel devoted to the true stories of the drama inside hospital emergency rooms. TV Miliary can be found on channel 642 and ER stories can be found on channel 500.
Finally, Pluto TV has added The Young Turks channel (TYT) ahead of the 2020 US Elections. The Young Turks is a 24/7 channel airing political analysis and news from an outside-the-mainstream perspective. TYT will join Pluto’s other 24/7 news channels including CBSN, Bloomberg, NBC News, Sky News, and Newsmax TV.
The fact that Pluto TV is targeting nostalgic millennials could be a sign that many consumers may soon long for the days of sitting back, turning on the tube, and letting video providers choose what to watch for them. There’s a freedom in that which is lost when sorting through the endless libraries of streaming. Will free, ad-supported linear TV become more popular as the streaming video market continues to fracture and become more expensive?