Pluto TV Launches New U.K. Channel Dedicated to Independent FilmVariety — Robert Mitchell
Pluto TV is further extending its movie offering in Britain by launching a streaming platform, Pluto TV Indies, dedicated to independent films, arthouse award-winners, film festival circuit highlights, world cinema, and theatrical documentaries. The company plans to launch an additional Pluto TV World Cinema in the second quarter of 2019.
“At Pluto TV we are devoted to developing the right environment for quality content,” said Olivier Jollet, Pluto TV’s managing director for Europe. “Independent films create worlds filled with boundless energy, provocative exploration, and unencumbered narratives, but often their reach to a wider audience is limited, while film enthusiasts struggle to find offerings customized to their preferences.”
Pluto TV Indies joins Pluto TV Movies as the second film-only channel on Pluto’s U.K. offering, which launched last October. Pluto says its advertising-funded, free-to-watch model creates a “custom-fit environment for cineastes to discover new favorites and creators to showcase their work.” The upcoming World Cinema channel will be dedicated to films from non-English-speaking markets.
“With our curated channels we are opening unknown doors to clear-cut niches,” Jollet said. “The linear model allows viewers to switch on a channel apt to their mood. This gives content creators an opportunity to showcase their work, as viewers decide by interest rather than names.”
The first U.K. distributor announced as a partner is British independent Signature Entertainment. “We are thrilled to partner with Pluto TV in the U.K.,” said Signature COO Jon Bourdillon. “The linear and thematic channels are an exciting new film consumption model, and we at Signature, across all genres of our output, see Pluto TV as a key partner going forward.”
Bourdillon said the prospect of putting a more diverse lineup of films into the spotlight “is a chance for creative works with lesser marketing budgets to reach out to a broader audience.”
The first films offered on Pluto’s Indies channel include Rachid Bouchareb’s “Two Men in Town,” starring Forest Whitaker and Harvey Keitel, which debuted in competition at the Berlin Film Festival in 2014, and Hal Hartley’s “Fay Grim,” the writer-director’s 2006 follow-up to his classic “Henry Fool,” starring Parker Posey and Jeff Goldblum.
Pluto’s move into the U.K. was first revealed to Variety last October as launching via Sky’s Now TV service as a free app for customers of Sky’s low-cost streaming service.
In January, Viacom acquired the Los Angeles-based Pluto for $340 million, with plans to run it as an independent subsidiary. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.