This Is Why Free TV Is The Next Big Thing

Pluto TV
Pluto TV

Free TV is now worth more than $140 million. Recently, Pluto TV, the over-the-top curated TV startup, announced it had closed its $30 million Series B funding round. ProSiebenSat.1 and Scripps Networks Interactive led the funding round with previous investors U.S. Venture Partners, Sky, Luminari Capital, Chicago Ventures and Third Wave Capital Partners also involved.

According to sources, that now values the company at more than $140 million. The surge in investment constitutes a valuation four times higher than its Series A funding less than two years ago.

Pluto TV also acquired Quazer, an OTT video startup ranked number one on the Apple TV app store in Germany. Quazer focuses on non-fiction content geared toward German speakers. The acquisition will allow Pluto TV to expand into the European market. Aside from accelerating international growth, Quazer brings valuable insights and machine-learning expertise to the team.

“With this funding and the expansion into Europe, Pluto TV is uniquely positioned to become the global OTT destination for free television. That’s the goal. That’s the future of TV,” said Tom Ryan, CEO of Pluto TV.

And that’s not far from the truth. Research from Forrester found that, by 2025, 50 percent of television viewers under the age of 32 will not pay for cable or satellite services. This trend is already apparent in Pluto TV’s user base. In the first quarter of 2015, Pluto TV had 500,000 monthly active users. They now have more than five million.

"In only 18 months, we scaled our viewership tenfold. That rapid growth affirms our belief that people love the simplicity of a lean back television service curated to their interests,” said Ken Parks, Executive Chairman of Pluto TV.

What Pluto TV offers its viewers is a curated live stream of programming. Its more than 100 channels are organized by themes, spanning everything from news to classic movies to Inspector Gadget marathons. It offers free programming through partnerships with more than 75 TV networks, movie studios, and digital media companies.

Pluto TV is available online, on mobile devices, or through devices like Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Sony PlayStation, and Microsoft Xbox.

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