Viacom CEO Bob Bakish and CFO Wade Davis spent much of Friday’s earnings call focused on the company’s acquisition of Pluto TV, Variety reports. Viacom acquired the ad-supported streaming platform in January for $340 million.
“Bakish talked up the speed of the integration process with Viacom, noting that Pluto TV launched 14 new channels featuring library content from MTV, BET, Comedy Central and other Viacom brands,” Variety reports. “Pluto TV, which offers a mix of on-demand content and live channels, has provided a windfall of digital advertising inventory for Viacom’s Advanced Marketing Solutions unit, which sells high-yield targeted ads and has been growing rapidly.”
The report quotes Davis calling Pluto TV “a billion dollar opportunity” for the company based on the growth of Pluto TV’s monthly active user base.
“The platform has seen a 31% jump in its active monthly user base in the past four months, spiking to 16 million in April from 12 million when Viacom completed the acquisition in January,” Variety reports, adding: “Pluto TV is planning to launch Pluto TV Latino featuring Spanish-language channels in July. Viacom is also looking to expand its distribution in key European markets and to launch a Latin American version by year’s end.”
Bakish said the company plans to invest further in Pluto TV this year “to take advantage of the momentum we’re already seeing.”
Variety adds: “Viacom ‘halted’ the licensing of library product to outside streaming companies during the second quarter as the company sorted out its plan for funneling programming to Pluto TV, Bakish said.”