Viacom’s Pluto TV has launched Pluto TV Latino, a new category on the platform featuring 11 linear Spanish and Portuguese-language channels.
The company says it is the first offering of its kind to be introduced on a major ad-supported OTT service. In the pay-TV arena, programmers and distributors have saturated the market with offerings aimed at the roughly 59 million Hispanics in the U.S. Several dozen dedicated networks cater to this audience, which also over-indexes in terms of streaming and digital use in general.
Across the 11 channels, Pluto TV Latino delivers movies, comedy, music, true crime, reality, sports and telenovelas. Three movie-themed channels offer blockbuster and native Spanish-language films. Genre-specific channels from MTV, Comedy Central, Telemundo, Combate World and Lucha Libre feature library collections, music specials, comedies, crime series, telenovelas and more. Programming is in native Spanish-speaking as well as dubbed versions.
Acquired last January by Viacom for $340 million, Pluto is one of the leading purveyors of ad-supported video on demand, or AVOD. The category is on the upswing, and NBCUniversal is placing a big bet on free streaming, as opposed to subscription, with a major streaming launch in 2020. Unlike other AVOD offerings like Crackle Plus or Tubi TV, Pluto’s emulates the traditional pay-TV bundle with a collection of live and curated channels organized with an on-screen programming guide.
“We have always envisioned Pluto TV as a destination with global appeal, where diverse audiences can find and stream the entertainment they love, for free,” Pluto TV founder and CEO Tom Ryan said. “Pluto TV Latino was designed to bring premium streaming programming to an underserved OTT audience with cross-generational appeal. To be the first ad-supported streaming platform to offer an entire category dedicated to U.S. Hispanic audiences is something we are incredibly proud of and furthers our mission to entertain the planet.”
Pluto TV Latino will add more channels this fall in areas such as food, travel, competition, kids as well as channels focused on single series channels.