OTT advertising opportunities, and reach, continue to evolve and expand.
A notable example is this week’s official debut of ViacomCBS’s Pluto TV on Verizon’s various platforms.
Pluto TV launched as a pre-loaded app on select Verizon Android mobile devices, and will continue to roll out over the summer on Fios set-top cable boxes, Stream TV, and 5G Amazon Home Fire devices.
The deal, which was announced in May, brings more than 100,000 hours of streaming content from hundreds of channels to tens of millions of Verizon devices, making it the largest cross-platform integration to date in the FAST (free, ad-supported streaming service) or AVOD category, according to the companies.
The deal also includes three new content channels built exclusively for Verizon customers. In addition to a Movies on Verizon title library and Yahoo Finance, there’s a Real Life on Verizon channel with programming focused on military and other first responders.
Verizon already had integration deals with subscription-driven VOD services Disney+ and YouTube TV, but marketers are obviously most attuned to watching the action on the FAST front.
For its part, Pluto TV was already available on apps on iOS and Android, in VR with Oculus TV, and on Samsung and Vizio TV platforms. (Pluto powers Vizio’s WatchFree streaming service.) As of its acquisition, more than 60% of its audience watched the streamer on connected TVs.
As of May, Pluto TV had more than 24 million monthly active users — up 55% year-over-year—and is on track to reach 30 million by year’s end, according to ViacomCBS. Most users are in the U.S., but the service has growing user bases in Europe and Latin America.
For ViacomCBS, which paid $340 million for Pluto in January 2019, the streamer is a means of using its back catalog to create ad inventory, and promoting its paid subscription products, like Noggin and Comedy Central Now.