The genius of Pluto.TV


So I read about Pluto.TV in a physical copy of Details, which makes it the only website I have ever visited because of Details, and that would seem like a bad sign. However, it's actually fantastic.

The video site launched a few months ago and got major mainstream coverage — New York Times, USA Today — but other than a spike of articles about the Cats 24/7 channel, the internet news world has ignored it.

That must be because the internet news world doesn't realize that in addition to the Cats 24/7 channel, Pluto.TV features the Sharks 24/7 channel, Guns & Explosions channel, and Happy channel, which loops Pharrell's "Happy" video.

There is a channel devoted to weed culture and a channel for Grand Theft Auto gameplay, a channel of all GoPro videos and a channel of nothing but Weird Al. There is a Heart Warming channel where shows have names like "Friendship, Puppies, and Dreams Coming True." Right now there is a Robin Williams channel, spun up in the wake of his death.

Pluto.TV gave The Verge permission to embed one channel. This is Top Web Tracks. It streams the most popular music videos from YouTube and Billboard's "Trending 140" Twitter chart.

The content mostly streams from YouTube, and you can fast forward and rewind, but only within the current block of programming. You can "record" future programming blocks just like a DVR, but there's no skipping ahead. Like Reddit.TV, which streams videos from the social sharing site one after the other, the limitations give the experience structure. And if you're feeling indecisive, the "random" button will pick a channel for you.

I don't know what the business model for Pluto.TV is, and for now, I don't care. It's free and the only ads it shows — other than the GoPro channel which are almost all ads, and the "Best TV Commercials" channel, and QVC — are short title screens advertising Pluto.TV. I hope that this website continues to exist and the channels get weirder and more niche. These are my favorites right now.

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