Sky Television has invested $500,000 into LA-based startup Pluto.TV.
Pluto.TV aggregates online video content from the web and programmes it into themed video channels, i.e. it takes on demand video and turns it into video channels grouped by theme.
It sounds like a backwards step in some respects. Podcasting, streaming and media on demand has freed us from scheduled programming and allowed us to programme our own channels – which is fine if you know what you want to watch.
But the problem of ‘discovery’ remains in the on-demand world. Sites like Pluto.TV curate content into channels so that if you know the kind of stuff you like, you can watch find new content in the same vein.
Of course, this is the same traditional role which TV stations, programme controllers and editors have always had. And while many traditional broadcasters are getting into the on-demand world, they also know better than most that sometimes we just want turn on the telly and see what’s on.
Services like Pluto.TV can help them gather even more intelligence about viewer behaviour. It’s a lot cheaper and easier to launch streaming video channels than it is to launch satellites.
Emma Lloyd, Director, Corporate Business Development, Sky, commented:
“This partnership enables Sky to draw on the ground-breaking work Pluto.TV are doing to help viewers discover and enjoy the best of online TV through an intuitive and editorially rich TV platform. As we learn about new trends in the way people watch TV, we look forward to sharing our own expertise in content creation, packaging and promotion.”
Currently Pluto.TV streams over 100 different channels, including: Parenting, Technology, Top 40 and a dozen varieties of comedy including Stand Up and Prankd. There’s even a channel called Neil de Grasse Tyson which features content by the astronomer.