Hulu to Deliver Free TV Shows, Movies via Pluto TV Service (Exclusive)

Hulu Free TV Shows, Movies on
NBCUniversal

Startup Pluto TV also reaches deals with Jukin Media, Shout! Factory, YouTube's Devin SuperTramp and other partners

Hulu has reached a distribution deal with Pluto TV, a startup whose service repackages online video into a TV-like programming grid, covering nearly all of Hulu’s free television and movie content.

Under the pact, Pluto TV has access to everything Hulu makes available on its free, ad-supported website. That includes current-season broadcast fare from ABC, NBC and Fox such as episodes of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” (pictured above), “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “Saturday Night Live”; older TV shows like “Seinfeld,” “Cheers,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Happy Days”; and anime and cartoon shows.

Just as Hulu makes free content available only on the Web — with only subscribers to its $7.99-per-month service having access to content on other connected devices — Pluto TV will make Hulu’s free content available only via its website. Pluto TV’s other channels are available on multiple platforms, including iOS and Android mobile devices, Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Android TV devices, Google’s Chromecast, to Apple TV via Apple AirPlay and Samsung Smart TVs.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Pluto TV CEO Tom Ryan said Hulu will be serving up the ads for the content.

In addition to Hulu, Pluto TV has recently struck deals with a half-dozen other content partners to distribute their programming: Shout! Factory, Jukin Media, Devin SuperTramp, Multicom, Around the World in 4K and Amazing Places on Our Planet. Previously announced partners include AOL and Endemol.

For Hulu and Pluto TV’s other content suppliers, the pacts promise to broaden their reach — but it’s not clear exactly by how much. Ryan declined to reveal how many people are actively using the startup’s video service, except to say that the company is delivering “millions of video views” per day.

The idea behind Pluto TV, which last year launched the service with more than 100 curated channels, is to present Internet video in a menu that looks like a traditional cable TV guide. With many of its “linear” channels, Pluto strings together video segments presented in a continuous, TV-like stream — the theory being that it gives users interested, say, ’70s TV shows, latenight television or “cats 24/7” a familiar way to discover and watch new content.

With Hulu, Pluto TV is launching more than a dozen dedicated channels. Those include Late Night Catch-Up (full episodes and clips from “Tonight Show,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “The Daily Show,” “The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore”); ’90s TV Shows (“90210,” “Twin Peaks,” “7th Heaven”); ’80s TV Shows (“Cheers,” “Alf,” “Quantum Leap”); ’70s TV Shows (“Happy Days,” “The Brady Bunch,” “Mork & Mindy,” “Taxi”); or Joss Whedon Shows (“Buffy,” “Angel” and “Firefly”).

In addition, Pluto has channels with select episodes of “SNL,” “South Park,” “Seinfeld,” “I Love Lucy” and “The Twilight Zone.”

See More: Pluto TV Inks Video-Distribution Deals with Endemol, AOL

With Jukin Media, Pluto TV has added channel for “FailArmy,” which has some 7.8 million fans on YouTube, featuring pranks and “fails of the week.” The startup’s new Classic TV channel includes shows supplied by Shout! Factory, Multicom and others, including “Father Knows Best,” “Dennis the Menace,” “Route 66” and “The Saint.”

Pluto also launched a 4K TV channel with content from YouTube daredevil Devin SuperTramp, Around the World in 4K and Amazing Places on Our Planet.

“These partners allow our team of curators even more traditional TV shows, movies and digital-video favorites to deepen the entertainment experience across the platform,” Ryan said. “Entertainment happens when you make all of this content play seamlessly in the living room, at your fingertips and on the go.”

Founded in 2013, the L.A.-based company has raised about $13 million from U.S. Venture Partners (USVP), UTA, Sky (formerly BSkyB), Chicago Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Luminari Capital, Terry Semel’s Windsor Media, Pritzker Group and angel investors.

Hulu is owned by Disney, 21st Century Fox and Comcast’s NBCUniversal.

Correction: Hulu and Pluto TV previously said episodes of “Star Trek” were available to Pluto TV under the pact; in fact, Hulu does not have rights to distribute the series through partners.

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  1. Maddie Jones says:

    Thanks for sharing! I love Hulu especially because I can watch the latest episodes 1 day after they air. If you live outside USA like me, you can use UnoTelly or other similar tools to access Hulu Plus overseas.

  2. …who wants old reruns is beyond me and Pluto TV is that kind od medium for the old and not for the young

    • Derek Newsom says:

      Not for the young? How so? Netflix shoves down our throats that binge watching is what we want. Meanwhile how often do many of us flick through Netflixs options for so long that we give up and turn on the next episode of the same show we’ve been slowly working our way through? I think there is a need for online linear TV that is fed from the heartbeat of the Internet. Just come home, find a channel that suites my mood and just be able to watch. A truly transparent experience that both cable or Netflix couldn’t match. With Pluto’s use of video embed codes rather than a true seemless integration, I’m not sure it’s the Golden ticket. Every time I have to close a YouTube pop-up ad the illusion of live TV is lost. With that said, Pluto is still the best online TV candidate out there. We don’t need another VOD or SVOD service, they’re a dime a dozen. We need a curated seamless experience that falls into our laps without any effort.

    • Bill B. says:

      So, what’s wrong with that? Believe it or not, the world is not only about self-absorbed young people, which is a natural thing for young people to be. I’m older and have little interest in this ancient stuff, but there are people who love it, so what’s the problem?! I was a small child, but I still have vague memories of Route 66, which was a big hit in it’s day. I’d take a peek if was available for old time sake, but I bet it is terrible at this point in time!

    • Shut the hell up.

      The problem with your generation is that you can’t handle anything more than a 6 second Vine video on a 5 inch phone. It’s people like you that watch crap like the Kardashians and Duck Hunters and why I can’t watch the History Channel anymore, because it’s all reality crap.

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