The key to Pluto TV’s value proposition lies with its 18 million monthly viewers who spend 185 minutes per session. These are cord cutters and cord nevers, says Harold Morganstern, svp and head of national sales at Pluto TV, and the service is able to give clients access to these customers that they might not otherwise be able to reach.
“We’re seeing an explosion in video content,” Morganstern tells Beet.TV in an interview at Advertising Week. “We work with advertisers, we sit down, we have a mantra. The two things we focus on the most is growing their market share and increasing their sales.”
That explosion has led to some saturation. Pluto TV offers free, ad-supported content, which has become an increasingly crowded section of the video streaming platforms, with competitors like Xumo and The Roku Channel offering similar value propositions. Pluto TV, which was acquired by Viacom earlier this year for $340 million, believes its appeal to customers, content providers and advertisers will help it stand out from the competition.
Pluto TV takes a hands-on approach to its client relationships, says Morganstern, and its team will sit down with clients to look at attribution, what drove a lift in sales, what didn’t and what can be fixed. In figuring out that ad performance, Pluto TV uses tools like attribution studies, brand studies, metrics on monthly average users and other technologies to measure success. It’s still a work in progress, says Morganstern, as there’s no universal toolbox for measurement.
“There will be some consolidation and there will be some measurement that gets set in place for the long term where clients and hopefully the platforms will agree and unify, and then we’ll move forward from there,” he says. “But right now it’s an early part of the game where we’re figuring it out.”
That doesn’t mean Pluto TV is making rash decisions to figure out measurement or drive growth as the streaming wars ramp up. Morganstern calls it “the age of acceleration,” and says that all the new players, like NBC, Disney and Apple, are racing to one-up each other, sometimes at risk of alienating the customer.
“The good news for us is, we were first to market in AVOD. We’re unique in how we go out there, being free and bringing good content,” says Morganstern of Pluto TV’s competitive advantage. “All platforms want to be bigger, better and faster, but I think it needs to slow down a little bit for better understanding of the industry, advertisers and what it all means for consumers.”
This video is part of a series of interviews conducted during Advertising Week New York, 2019. This series is co-production of Beet.TV and Advertising Week. The series is sponsored by Roundel, a Target company. Please see more videos from Advertising Week right here.