×

Channeling MTV, Vevo Launches Linear Programming on Pluto

Music television is back: Major label-owned music video platform Vevo is launching a series of linear channels for leanback viewing on Pluto TV, the ad-supported video service that got acquired by Viacom earlier this year.

A first channel, dubbed Vevo Pop, will launch on November 12; additional channels, including a holiday-themed station, are expected to go live in the coming weeks. Vevo plans to launch 10 free, ad-supported channels on Pluto altogether.

“Pluto TV is an exciting partner for Vevo, enabling us to offer a linear-programmed lean-back music video experience to our audiences,” Vevo president of sales and distribution Kevin McGurn told Variety. “Bringing music videos into the home alongside other linear and on-demand programming ensures that music videos are available to audiences on devices and platforms that are already integrated with their day-to-day lives. “

“Vevo is a world-class brand with a global audience that is a natural fit for Pluto TV,” added Pluto’s chief business officer Jeff Shultz. “We are excited to add these new Vevo channels and genres to our music video category bringing exciting, premium music video content from the world’s greatest artists to further the revival of music videos on streaming television.”

For Vevo, the launch of these linear channels is a bit of a throwback, and not only to the good old days of MTV: The online video service launched a similar offering under the Vevo TV moniker back in 2013, and also briefly experimented with on-air VJs. At the time, Vevo even played with the idea to license Vevo TV to cable operators and compete head-to-head with MTV. However, Vevo discontinued Vevo TV in 2016 as it was looking to launch more personalized online services.

Fast forward to 2019, and Vevo has become a very different company. While the original Vevo was looking to spin up a series of owned-and-operated businesses, it is now much more focused on maximizing licensing revenue from third-party platforms. Most of that licensing revenue still comes from YouTube, but Vevo has also struck distribution deals with Amazon for its Fire TV devices, Roku, Apple and others.

“With over 30m monthly views on TV in the US we are hyper focused on our OTT packaging and distribution strategy,” said McGurn.

Adding Pluto to its list of TV-centric distribution partners is one way for Vevo to grow its licensing revenue, but it’s also an indicator for the changing nature of the television business itself: As consumers switch from traditional cable bundles to paid subscription services like Netflix, Disney Plus and HBO Max, other parts of the traditional cable bundle will increasingly get replicated on ad-supported streaming platforms.

The side effect of this may just be a revival for long-lost formats like traditional music television on services like Pluto.

More Digital

  • Disney Plus - Vizio

    Disney Plus Is Now on Vizio Smart TVs in Native App

    Disney Plus is available on Vizio’s SmartCast TV platform as a built-in app, making the Mouse House’s subscription-streaming service accessible directly to users of the manufacturer’s 13 million SmartCast-enabled televisions. Previously, Vizio users have been able to stream Disney Plus on SmartCast TVs through Apple AirPlay 2 and Chromecast. But with the Disney Plus update, [...]

  • Best Picture Black Panther

    'Black Panther' Is Leaving Netflix to Come to Disney Plus

    Marvel’s blockbuster “Black Panther” is rolling off Netflix in the U.S. on March 3, 2020 — after which Wakanda fans will be able to stream the movie the next day on Disney Plus. The migration of “Black Panther,” one of the top-grossing superhero films to date, from Netflix to Disney Plus comes as Disney winds [...]

  • GoNoodle I Used a Comma

    Can GoNoodle Climb to the Kid-Media Big Leagues?

    If you’re a parent of grade-school kids in America, the odds are good your tykes know about GoNoodle’s upbeat music and exercise videos, designed to get them up on their feet and moving around. But GoNoodle doesn’t have the same brand recognition as, say, Disney or Nickelodeon — and KC Estenson wants to change that. [...]

  • Friends TV Series

    'Friends' DVD, Digital Sales Soar as It Takes a Break From Streaming

    They’re on a streaming break — but “Friends” will still be there for you. WarnerMedia’s home entertainment division is aiming to capitalize on the brief disappearance of the hit sitcom from streaming video on demand, as fans look for other ways to get their “Friends” fix. Repeats of the wildly popular laffer, which ran for [...]

  • RuPaul

    RuPaul Launches Self-Help Internet Class Teaching You How to 'Work the Runway of Life'

    Legendary drag performer and TV star RuPaul is leading a self-help online course to teach you how to find your identity — and live your best life. The 16-lesson course, offered through online-education platform MasterClass, costs $90 for unlimited access. In RuPaul’s class on “self-expression and authenticity,” he shares experiences from his journey to self-love [...]

  • Spotify and Resident Advisor Announce Ticketing

    Spotify Unveils Ticketing Partnership With Dance Music Platform Resident Advisor

    Spotify today announced a ticketing partnership with influential dance-music website Resident Advisor with the goal of “supporting music communities around the world by increasing attendance to thousands of local venues and parties.” The program will connect Spotify users to events by artists via localized event listings promoted within the application. The program is similar to [...]

  • charlie hunnam TIFF 2019 Kelly Gang

    Apple TV’s 'Shantaram' Halts Production Amid Search for New Showrunner, Weather Problems

    Production of Apple TV Plus’ Charlie Hunnam-starring “Shantaram” has been halted in Australia due to a writing backlog. Only two of 10 episodes shot so far, Variety has confirmed. Though all episodes had been outlined in the writers’ room, it is understood that showrunner and high-profile screenwriter Eric Warren Singer (“Top Gun: Maverick,” “American Hustle”) [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content