Viacom has closed its $340 million acquisition of free, ad-supported streaming service Pluto TV.
The acquisition, which raised eyebrows for its pricetag when it was announced in January, advances Viacom’s plan to focus on advertising as it invests in streaming. That’s the opposite approach from media peers like Disney, CBS and WarnerMedia.
“The completion of this deal marks an exciting next step in Viacom’s evolution and a powerful opportunity for us to extend our consumer reach and broaden our ability to add value across the industry as the media landscape continues to segment,” said Bob Bakish, Viacom President and CEO. “Together with Pluto TV, we look forward to becoming a stronger partner to distributors, advertisers, content providers and audiences around the world.”
Pluto TV will operate as an independent subsidiary of Viacom, led by President and CEO Tom Ryan, the company said.
Founded in 2013, Pluto TV streams more than 100 channels in a range of genres, claiming more than 12 million monthly active users across devices. The announcement of the deal completion said Pluto TV will have a “crucial role” in expanding Viacom’s presence in streaming and that the company is a big believer in its “zero cost” appeal to customers.
Pluto is also a platform where Viacom will be able to roll out some of its ad-tech initiatives designed to improve targeting and efficiency.