In a significant move that could change some of the streaming landscape in the UK, Paramount Global has announced plans to merge Channel 5’s video-on-demand platform, My5With the free, ad-supported streaming service, Pluto TV.
This unified platform, scheduled to launch in the second half of 2024, aims to offer a comprehensive range of content, including popular local shows from Channel 5, an extensive on-demand library, and free-to-air ad-supported TV (FAST) channels from Pluto TV – all of it. As part of the same application.
The move comes as both services have seen significant growth in recent years, and represents a strategic effort to consolidate their offerings into one more user-friendly platform.
What is Pluto TV?
Pluto TV launched in the UK in late 2018 and offers over 100 curated channels covering a wide range of interests.
Pluto TV’s UK offering includes over 20,000 hours of free content and over 150 channels programmed with content from Paramount and other partners.
The standalone Pluto TV app (which will presumably remain available in the UK even after the merger) is available on most TVs Streaming devices It was sold in the UK, as well as on some pay-TV platforms (it was It was recently added to Virgin Media TVFor example).
My5 It is a free (with ads) TV streaming platform for Channel 5, which includes content from Channel 5, 5STAR, 5USA, 5SELECT and 5Action.
Once you’ve registered and logged in, you can watch follow-up episodes of programs broadcast on Channel 5’s range of channels, as well as a changing selection of full box sets.
My5 and Pluto TV are coming together
Channel 5 and Pluto TV are owned by Paramount Global (an American company that also owns… Paramount+ streaming service) – Therefore, the integration of My5 and Pluto TV into one app is not very surprising.
The new combined service will be ad-supported (just like My5 and Pluto TV currently), providing free access to a wide range of content.
For Channel 5 fans, this doesn’t just mean the continuation of popular shows like Dalglish, All creatures great and smallAnd Yorkshire vetbut also a more comprehensive archive of past episodes.
Pluto TV’s contribution will be equally strong, adding curated FAST channels to the mix. These channels cover a wide range of genres, from drama and comedy to sports and children’s programmes.
The technology behind Pluto TV, which has seen rapid growth and now boasts annual revenues of more than $1 billion, will power the new platform.
One of the interesting aspects of this merger is the promise of a new user experience that combines streaming video on demand (BVOD), FAST and live TV.
In simple terms, this means viewers will have the flexibility to watch live TV via streaming, browse on-demand content, or do both – without having to switch between multiple apps.
It would be interesting if the new platform decided to add a ‘premium’ tier that removes ads (like those available on ITVX and Channel 4) – although this is unlikely at this stage, as Pluto TV is built around ads. Sponsored Content.
When will the new app come?
Not only does this merger offer more content, it represents a strategic move for both Channel 5 and Pluto TV.
Channel 5 has been growing its share of the UK TV audience for four years in a row, and its streaming service, My5, has also seen consistent growth.
Pluto TV, on the other hand, has been a FAST industry leader, with over 2,000 channels globally and a presence in over 35 markets.
By combining forces, the two platforms aim to expand their reach and provide a more compelling service to viewers and advertisers alike.
The new product is already in the works, and is scheduled to be launched in the latter half of 2024.
More details about the brand and product will be announced in early 2024.
Maria Kyriakou“As we look to an IP-enabled future, this is the right time for us to take full advantage of the Paramount ecosystem and combine the scale and scale of our free services,” said Head of Broadcast and Studios at Paramount International Markets. UK air network with the global success of our FAST service , Pluto TV.
“We’re well underway with work on this product, and I’m very excited about the content and user experience we’ll be able to deliver to our audience and advertising partners when it launches next year.”