Pluto.TV Launches Free, Curated Video Platform

The service offers nearly 100 channels of ad-supported online video.

A new streaming platform launched Monday to bring a television-like experience to Web video, and its got a cadre of Hollywood investors backing it up. 

Pluto.TV offers nearly 100 channels of curated content -- topics include entertainment, lifestyle, news, sports, children's programming, etc. -- that has been hand-selected and programmed into blocks.

The idea is that sometimes people want to watch short online videos the same passive way they often watch TV.

“We’re making the process of discovering new content seamless by delivering free programming around areas of interest anytime, anywhere," said co-founder and chairman Nick Grouf. "Pluto.TV has done the heavy lifting for you, so you can sit back, watch, and enjoy.”

The channels on Pluto.TV range from top 40 music videos to commercials to dog videos. For example, the Commercials 24/7 channel recently featured 2013 Super Bowl Ads while the Dogs 24/7 channel promised an hour of videos devoted to heroic pups. 

Pluto.TV, led by co-founders Grouf, Tom Ryan and Ilya Pozin, has a team that updates each channel's programming with new video and changes programming to reflect public interest. The company pulls its videos from sites such as YouTube and Vimeo. It also has partnerships with content creators such as Funny or Die, QVC, Refinery29 and The Young Turks. 

Viewers can watch the content live or rewind, pause and fast-forward to the content they are interested in. 

Added Ryan, “Pluto.TV provides premium content and the best entertainment for our viewers, from traditional TV favorites like sports highlights, breaking news, and comedy to engaging content like TED-talks, Funny or Die videos and the hottest music online."

Pluto.TV's Hollywood investors and advisors include Terry Semel's Windsor Media, United Talent Agency CEO Jeremy Zimmer, ICM president and partner Chris Silbermann, rapper Nas, Interscope Records co-founder Tom Whalley, former ABC Entertainment president Jamie Tarses and UTA head of digital media Brent Weinstein.