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Viacom Execs Not Worried About Pluto TV’s Current or Future Competitors

Stephanie Sengwe

With the advent of new streaming services constantly on the horizon, those who have been in the space are working to make sure they retain their audiences in the wake of new content. However, it seems executives at Viacom are confident in Pluto TV’s current position in the market and how it will fair once Peacock, which may be offered for free, and the ad-supported tier of HBO Max hit the market.

During a fourth-quarter earnings call today, Wade Cullen Davis, Viacom’s executive VP and CFO, pointed out the fact that Pluto TV is already the leading ad-supported streaming TV service with 20 million active monthly users, and by the time the likes of Peacock and HBO Max launch, it will long have been a staple in people’s living rooms.

“Look, people who are going to be coming to the market, of course, everybody’s going to be on the big three or four platforms. But one of the things Pluto has an extraordinary lead on is that, for years, we have been working on the long tail of distribution, particularly having the Pluto service embedded in devices that sit in the living room,” Davis said. “So the fact that we’ve been able to get embedded distribution on the world’s largest connected television platforms in a very differentiated way is something that’s going to serve us well as a big lead. People can do that over time, but it takes years to get that level of penetration.”

Viacom announced today that they reached 20 million monthly active users, up nearly 70 percent this calendar year. This boost is from the 18 million they announced in August, and 12 million active users when they acquired the company for $340 million in January.

The increase is partly due to the 43 new channels they launched this quarter, including 24 Viacom branded channels. They also announced that Pluto TV Latino now has 22 channels, with over 4,000 hours of Spanish and Portuguese programming.