Remember Free TV? It’s Coming Back in a Big Way

Ad-supported platforms are now key to streaming’s future

In January, almost a year after Viacom CEO Bob Bakish told investors his company was preparing to launch a streaming service in late 2018, Viacom finally unveiled its OTT strategy—but it wasn’t what anyone had been expecting. Instead of creating its own subscription video on demand (SVOD) service—as rivals Disney, Comcast and AT&T are doing—the company had opted to buy Pluto TV, the free, ad-supported streaming video platform, for $340 million. The

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This story first appeared in the April 8, 2019, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.