Nas & Universal Music Group Are Big Winners in Pluto TV’s $340 Million Acquisition

Nas and Universal Music Group have received a serious return for their investment in Pluto TV.

Several years ago, Nas and Universal Music Group (UMG) invested in Pluto TV, then a startup company.

Pluto has since grown into an ad-funded platform.  The company streams over 100 channels along with thousands of hours of on-demand content.  This spans television and movies, sports, news, lifestyle, comedy, cartoons, gaming and trending digital series.

Pluto TV also features programming sourced from over 130 partnerships with media networks, major film, and television studios along with a wide range of digital content producers.

Other early investors include U.S. Venture Partners and Third Wave Capital, among others.

Now, Nas and UMG have earned a serious return on their early investment in the ad-funded platform.

Viacom reveals its long-term strategy.

Viacom has confirmed that it has entered into a definitive agreement to completely acquire Pluto TV.  The media corporation will pay $340 million in cash.

Pluto TV currently has over 12 million monthly active users, with 7.5 million on connected television sets.  People have streamed content across multiple devices, including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Sony PlayStation consoles.  Android and iOS users have also downloaded and used the mobile app.

The acquisition of Pluto underscores Viacom’s current key strategic priorities.  These include expanding its presence across next-generation distribution platforms and growing its advertising business.

The media corporation hopes the acquisition will also advance its strategy to emerge as the leader in the free streaming video market in the US.  In addition, Viacom will accelerate Pluto TV’s growth around the world.

In a press release, the media corporation highlighted six key benefits of the acquisition.

  1. Create a scaled D2C (Direct-to-Consumer) offering.
  2. Meaningfully enhance its advanced marketing solutions business.
  3. Add an important offering for distribution partners.
  4. Unlock Viacom’s library value.
  5. Create global opportunities.
  6. Accelerate Pluto TV’s leadership in free streaming TV.

Speaking about the acquisition, Bob Bakish, Viacom’s President and CEO, explained,

As the video marketplace continues to segment, we see an opportunity to support the ecosystem in creating products at a broad range of price points, including free.

“To that end, we see significant white space in the ad-supported streaming market and are excited to work with the talented Pluto TV team, and a broad range of Viacom partners, to accelerate its growth in the U.S. and all over the world.


Featured image by Pictures of Money (CC by 2.0).