Streaming TV for free? It's possible, if you don't mind ads.

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Viacom spent $340 million to buy Pluto TV, and this week they announced they're filling the platform with programming from networks including MTV, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central. You'll be able to watch for free, just know there will be ads. The other well-known AVOD was Sony's Crackle, which had 'Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,' but lost that Jerry Seinfeld series to Netflix. Still, several of these AVODs seem to be doing quite well--they're kind of like cable used to be, back when it was all reruns. They're also well-positioned for the time when viewers decided they want to start cutting back on increasingly more costly subscriptions. The irony of Pluto TV is that its tagline is "It's Free TV," which of course, broadcast television has always been free TV, but for younger generations raised on Netflix, "free" could seem like a new concept.