Pluto TV plans UI refresh to improve content discovery

Mike Wheatley

Paramount’s free, ad-supported TV streaming service Pluto TV is getting a major refresh with a brand new interface across all devices.


The revelation came from the Stream TV Show this week, where Paramount Streaming’s executive vice president of content strategy and global partnerships Amy Kuessner said the new interface will roll out in July 2023. The report was first picked up by Cord Cutters News.

While Kuessner didn’t show us what the new UI will look like, she said the upgrade is all about improving content discovery and recommendations. Pluto TV intends to mix both its live and on-demand content together on the new home screen, with algorithms powered by artificial intelligence set to help people find suitable shows, based on their viewing histories and preferences. The recommendations will span both live and on-demand content.

It should be a welcome update because, like many ad-supported TV platforms, Pluto TV’s isn’t the best. Content is presented in a very long live TV guide that’s similar to the electronic programme guide on most smart TVs. While it works, it’s not nearly as great a user experience as something like Netflix or Amazon Prime, which helpfully break down their content into various genres. Pluto TV does have a lot of content too, so the UI revamp may help to surface the more interesting stuff for regular viewers.

Assuming the new Pluto TV interface is more Netflix-like, it could result in a lot less manual work when it comes to hunting for new shows.

Cord Cutters News speculates that the new UI is likely to be a reaction to the massive investment other companies are making into ad-supported TV services. For instance, Pluto TV’s rivals include Amazon Freevee, which offers more than 280 channels and various other content with a superior UI.

Ad-supported TV is becoming extremely competitive, so much so that Pluto TV’s co-founder Ilya Pozin last month founded a new startup called Telly that’s willing to give away a free 4K TV to users and free access to content, so long as they accept that it also has a second screen that will constantly bombard them with extra ads.