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Since 2014, Pluto TV has been offering free streaming TV. But if you’ve been streaming as long as we have, then you may have noticed that the type of content Pluto TV offers has changed drastically over the years. In its early days, Pluto TV primarily aggregated content that was freely available on YouTube and other video sharing services. These days, the folks at Pluto TV have over 250 channels of content from 170 different content providers. And as of 2019, Pluto TV is owned by ViacomCBS, a powerhouse of the media world. That has given Pluto TV even more great content.
That brief history lesson aside, you probably came here to find out what Pluto TV has to offer and whether it is the right service for you. This looks like a job for the team at CordCutting.com!
What Is Pluto TV?
Pluto TV offers both live streaming and on-demand content, and both are absolutely free. Pluto TV is ad-supported, which is exactly what it sounds like: You don’t have to pay to watch Pluto TV, but you’ll see ads in whatever you’re streaming.
The ads, by the way, are mandatory: Unlike some other free streaming services, Pluto TV won’t give you the option to upgrade to a paid ad-free tier. When you go to the website or download the app, you’ll have the option to create a free account, but even that is not necessary: You can watch Pluto TV for free forever without an account. If you do decide to create one, an account gives you the ability to favorite channels, create a watch later list, and continue content from another device. However, all of those features only work on select devices (more on that later).
What Channels, Shows and Movies Can I Watch on Pluto TV?
That’s enough about how Pluto TV works — let’s talk about what content it offers. Pluto TV’s live-streaming site includes about 250 channels. These channels aren’t typically the well-known ones available on (paid) skinny bundles like fuboTV; instead, they’re lesser-known online channels or, in some cases, spin-offs of more famous networks (for example, BET offers a Pluto-specific spin-off called “BET Pluto TV”).
The live networks on Pluto TV deliver news, sports, kids entertainment, Spanish-language programming, game shows, and more. You’ll find local CBS News channels for ten cities as well as channels curated from such providers as AMC, TV Land, Comedy Central, and MTV. (Again, these aren’t the “main” channels you know by these names — they’re more like special Pluto TV editions that these brands have created for this purpose.)
Then there’s Pluto TV’s on-demand content. The on-demand catalog includes a wide range of movies and TV shows, but you will notice certain genres and series that are much more well-represented than others — which entirely makes sense when you look at a list of Pluto TV’s content partners. As of this writing, five of the eight movies on Pluto TV’s “most popular” list are James Bond movies, which is a good example of how Pluto TV’s big partnership deals can make the service lean towards a certain type of content.
There are no brand-new movies or TV shows on Pluto TV, but they do have some movies and TV shows that are just 4-5 years old. As with most free streaming services, the bulk of Pluto TV’s on-demand content is either older or less popular than most of what you’d find in the library of a paid service like Netflix.
Here’s just a sample of the content that you can watch on Pluto TV right now:
- Dr. No
- Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
- Empire State
- The Dictator
- The Big Short
- Midsomer Murders
- Walker Texas Ranger
- The Millers
- Hell’s Kitchen
- Beverly Hills 90210
What Devices Can I Use With Pluto TV?
Device compatibility probably won’t be an issue for you with Pluto TV. This service works on practically all of the streaming devices and platforms on the market, including all the major ones we recommend. The only caveat is that certain features — most notably the abilities to favorite channels, create watch lists, and continue streaming from a different device — only work on iOS, Apple TV, and Roku devices. That’s something that frustrated us in our Pluto TV review.
Here’s the current list of devices that you can use to watch Pluto TV. For the most up-to-date list, including international compatibility, take a look at the full list of compatible devices on Pluto TV’s website.
Streaming platforms and devices
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- Fire TV
Video game consoles
- Xbox One
- Playstation 4
- Fire (Amazon Fire phones and tablets)
- In-browser app (Mac, Windows, and more)
- Select Blu-Ray and DVD players
- Select smart TVs
How Much Does Pluto TV Cost?
Pluto TV is entirely free. All of their content is supported by ads, so you’ll never end up paying a dime. Unlike with some other free streaming services, such as Shout Factory TV, there is no option to upgrade for an ad-free experience.
Deals on Pluto TV
It’s hard to find a better price than free, so you are unlikely to see deals for Pluto TV. But we’d be remiss not to take this opportunity to remind you that you can find deals on other streaming services on our home page, brand pages, and social media pages. If there’s a deal, we’ll find it — but we haven’t found a way to make “free” any cheaper than it already is.
How to Get a Pluto TV Free Trial
A free service is basically just a free trial that never ends, right? Since there is no paid option for Pluto TV, free trials aren’t a factor. Since free trials are usually used as a no-risk way to try out a service, you could instead just go to Pluto TV’s website and watch some TV right now. You don’t even need to create an account to start watching!
Pluto TV Contracts
There’s no need to worry about contracts with Pluto TV because they don’t require them. Further, since the service is entirely free, you won’t even be locked in by monthly or annual subscriptions. Whenever you want to stop, you can do so just by closing the window or deleting the app.
How to Cancel Pluto TV
Since there is no subscription aspect to Pluto TV, there is no need to worry about canceling. You can close the browser or delete the app and be done with it. If you opted to create an account and you would like it deleted, you can make that request through Viacom privacy. They do, however, state that they may maintain certain information even after the account has been deleted.
Read More About Pluto TV
Did this article answer all of your Pluto TV questions? If you want to hear our hands-on experience with Pluto TV – including the good, the bad, and the out-of-this-world – you can find all of that in our Pluto TV review. For anything else, you can type Pluto TV into the search bar at the top of this page to find all the content CordCutting.com has about this service. Are you looking for other free streaming service options? Check out our pages on Crackle and Tubi.
19 thoughts on “Pluto TV: Channels, Features, and More”
I discovered Pluto a few months back and was impressed right away. I appreciate your article detailing what Pluto provides… for free!
Pluto has MSNVBC, which is huge. We watch it all the time. It may not be live, but it’s great.
Why does it automatically install itself when using (legal) sites that have sketchy ads? For me, that was an absolute turn-off. It installed itself onto my tablet and I could NOT remove it (it would re-install). Un-installing on PC is fine (if you do it properly).
But now it auto-installed on my Roku. HOW? I never searched for it or anything. I woke my Roku up from sleep and it installed itself. WHY is it so sketchy?
Does Pluto have NFL games? Baseball? Big time sports, NBA?
I love Pluto TV. I pay for Sling (mostly for AMC), but for the most part, if I’m watching live TV, I’m watching Pluto. MST3K and RiffTrax! I think it’s the greatest thing and I tell everyone about it. (There are a LOT of commercials – but hey, that’s why it’s free.)
When will Pluto add Fox News Channel?
Pluto TV offers Newsmax (they are connected with DrudgeReport), as of my posting, which gives you something in news from a similar political perspective as Fox News.
I like Pluto overall. It is what it is, which is a way for people to do cord cutting on a shoestring budget.
I put Pluto Tv on my PC. Problem every time I turn on my PC Pluto activates itself (turns on by itself) I have not been able to figure out what settings cause this
I have used Pluto in two forms, a browser extension and a directly downloaded app. The downloaded app was, for me, unwatchable. If you think commercial, broadcast TV is rife with commercial interruptions, Pluto sets a new (and worse) standard. I may have allowed it to live on my computer for as long as a week before uninstalling it, but it seems I dumped it after only a few days.
In browser extension form, Pluto was a bit more tolerable. I’m convince the reason for this is my browser-installed ad blockers. Instead of constant commercial interruptions, there were blank spots of no content which lasted a second or two in duration.
In both instances, production was beyond amateur quality. Too many times the channel I selected failed to open or opened and then froze for long enough spans of time, I simply gave up trying to watch.
Only a couple times did I try to watch movies or what they consider qualifies as “news”. Movies were, typically, B-grade at best and the snooze was not anything relevant to me.
I eventually whittled Pluto down to only two channels of interest: World Poker Tour and what may have been entitled “Fight” channel, which was MMA & UFC combat sports. But, as I stated previously, those channels frequently failed/am to load, or loaded and then froze.
If you get the impression I was not terribly impressed with Pluto TV, you are entirely correct. I would expect middle school students to produce better content and do a better job presenting it.
Are you able to search Pluto? Sometimes I just scroll and find things I’d like to watch but then I can’t find them again though I do remember the name of them.Sent
Thanks in advance
If you’re looking for a direct, comparable TV/cable replacement with all the same content legally delivered and for free, keep looking. Such a thing doesn’t exist. If you’re just looking for something to watch when there’s nothing interesting OTA then Pluto is a great option. I have actually clocked their streams for content vs. ads and compared to OTA television; Pluto actually has slightly fewer ads time-wise. It all comes down to your preference… I personally like a solid third of their channels (better ratio than when I paid for cable) and would recommend it to anyone. Your mileage may vary.
Walking Dead on MAC tonight
Is this a channel you have if so what chanel?
What channel is AMC?
Can I see live tv like sports and soap operas on Pluto. I have a smart tv. Can I do anything to see these programs ?
I am can t not cartoon roku
How in the heck do you search for anything. There is no search button. And once I have found something to watch, why can I just watch it without still seeing Pluto in background?
I need to find out how to take my live tv off Pluto. I do not like them combined I can’t get just live I have to go through Pluto. How do I get this to stop. So upset never asked or never was mentioned.
I love watching Wings. But after a while they show the same ones. Lets see some different episodes.
Why does Pluto stop so much…