Jan 23, 2019 - Economy

Viacom bets against paid subscription content

Viacom store

Photo: Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images

Viacom agreed to buy Pluto TV, a Los Angeles-based free internet TV service, for $340 million in cash.

Why it matters: It's a sizable bet against the growing wave of paid subscription content. Plus, it's a sizable payout for early Pluto TV investors, who in 2014 bucked conventional wisdom that TV viewership would be decimated by social media and mobile content.

  • ROI: Pluto had raised around $52 million from firms like USVP, Samsung, Scripps Network Interactive, ProSiebenSat.1 Media, Luminari Capital, Chicago Ventures, Windsor Media, UTA and Thirdwave Capital Partners.

The bottom line: "It's the latest digital technology company that Viacom has acquired over the past year to bring its brand, which consists mostly of legacy TV networks, into the digital future." — Sara Fischer, Axios

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