US free streaming television service Pluto TV, is expanding into Europe, premiering in the UK market, initially rolling out on Sky’s streaming service, NOW TV, with the service suggesting its mix of original curated channels and branded content will broaden the portfolio of apps available on the NOW TV Smart Stick and NOW TV Boxes with the addition of thematic, genre-specific-channels creating the ultimate lean-back, TV-like streaming experience.
In the US, Pluto TV offers over 100 channels, over 120 major content partners, availability across all streaming devices with approximately 10 million monthly visitors. Pluto TV’s European headquarters is in Berlin, Germany, with Olivier Jollet as Managing Director Europe, overseeing a team of media executives – including Paul Edwards, Director of Content Partnerships Europe, and David Kwok, Director of Programming Europe. The team brings decades of media expertise with past experiences at Watchever, Quazer, Universal Music, Vivendi, Prosiebensat.1, Discovery Networks International, Viacom International Media Networks, and the Tribeca Film Festival.
“The launch of Pluto TV in Europe is a monumental achievement as we actively pursue our mission of entertaining the planet,” stated Tom Ryan, CEO & co-founder of Pluto TV. “Olivier and his team have worked tirelessly to develop and launch Pluto TV in the UK with the perfect mix of our unique channel offerings, content partners, and features, all adapted to meet the sensibilities and affinities of the local audience. This is an exciting next chapter for Pluto TV on a global scale.”
Pluto TV’s UK offering includes over a dozen channels with a diverse array of entertainment designed to appeal to all types of audiences. The initial mix contains original Pluto TV-branded channels, from Pluto TV Movies and Pluto TV Kids to Pluto TV Fight, Pluto TV Explore and branded channels such as Xive TV, World Poker Tour and exclusively available in Europe, Mystery Science Theater 3000. The catch-up feature gives users the ability to view channel highlights and choose between a traditional lean-back or lean-forward viewing experience.
“Pluto TV, as a young and successful American company, was immediately met with great interest in the USA, recreating the classic TV channel guide while connecting with a digital first viewership. Now we want to reach out to the European audience as well,” said Jollet. “Our vision is to generate highly engaging viewing experiences and to offer our viewers a diverse yet customised experience on connected TV screens. Pluto TV’s ad funded model opens the door for advertisers to reach a digital first viewership not reached via classic TV advertising. At the same time, content producers who are not yet on television get the chance to shine on the TV screen.”
Sky is an investor in Pluto TV and is poised to drive the introduction of the service in the UK. Sky’s initial investment in Pluto TV took place in 2014, shortly after the company’s launch in the US.
“We have been very impressed with Pluto TV’s development since our initial investment in the company four years ago”, said Emma Lloyd, Group Director of Business Developments and partnerships at Sky. “I’m very excited the service is available for NOW TV customers giving them even more great content to watch and I’m confident Pluto TV will see similar success in the UK as they have in the US.”
Further launches of the Pluto TV on other devices are planned for the UK and the German-speaking markets in the near future.