Pluto TV is getting a big upgrade for finding free movies and TV shows

Pluto TV logo seen on a phone in front of a screen of blurry TV show images
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Free movie and TV streamer Pluto TV is about to look a little more personal, thanks to an update that should make it feel more like some of the best streaming services.

This news comes from Cord Cutter News, quoting Amy Kuessner, Paramount Streaming's executive VP of content strategy and global partnerships on the StreamTV Show. Kuessner explained that Pluto TV will get a new user interface that shakes up the home screen next month (July 2023).

Kuessner didn't provide slides or any visuals, but she did say that the home screen will start to mix its live TV and on demand content. It will also utilize algorithms to suggest shows and movies that users will prefer, which is something Max is starting to do more of throughout its app.

Currently, Pluto TV divides Live TV and On Demand sections, presenting former first and the latter as a tab you can click on. Pluto's home screen also shows one of its 'live' linear channels when you open it, something that most services don't do.  

Just don't expect this on all devices on July 1. Kuessner specified that the new Pluto will hit select (unspecified) devices in July, and it will spread to more devices throughout 2023.

Analysis: Pluto TV evolves in the rise of ad-supported streaming services 

Right now, as reports of Prime Video's ad-supported tier bubble up, the best free streaming services aren't the only ones with commercials. Pluto's move to revitalize its interface comes as others are encroaching on its turf.

Now, Netflix, Max, Disney Plus, Peacock and Paramount Plus all have ad-supported tiers, and it sounds like Pluto is changing to be more like those. The big question we have is how much Pluto will deviate from its cable TV-like design that turns on a channel, and how much it will be like the above streaming services.

The big risk, of course, is becoming like one of those streaming services that push a carousel of content that users don't actually want. I've argued that Netflix in particular loves to push content at me that I don't actually care about. The more Pluto's redesign hits the nail on the head with its algorithm-generated recommendations, the less they'll have to worry about this though.

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Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.