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Pluto TV quietly drops commercial-free Dash Radio stations

The commercial-free radio streams powered by Dash Radio weren't popular with users, a source said.

The commercial-free radio streams powered by Dash Radio weren't popular with users, a source said.

(Image: ViacomCBS/Handout)

Free streaming service Pluto TV has removed more than two dozen commercial-free radio streams powered by Dash Radio.

The removal of the stations were first spotted by The Desk on Monday, with Dash Radio stations unavailable and URLs for the the streams redirecting to Pluto TV’s aggregate news channel.

Dash Radio operates more than 80 commercial-free stations from a variety of genres including rock, pop, country, Christian and talk radio. Around 30 of these stations were curated into ViacomCBS-owned Pluto TV several years ago to replicate the presence of Much Music and SiriusXM on traditional cable and satellite services.

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Pluto TV said a technical difficulty with the Dash Radio streams last weekend led to a prolonged outage. Rather than fixing the issue, the service decided to let them unofficially sunset.

The spokesperson said the company is formulating a new strategy around music offerings on Pluto TV, with new music products expected to be available later this year.

A source who spoke with The Desk on background confirmed the company was in the process of moving away from the streams. The source said the Dash Radio streams were not popular with users.

Pluto TV still offers six music video channels, including several MTV-themed channels and a stream powered by the music video platform Vevo.

Dash Radio stations are still available to stream via the service’s dedicated apps on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV. Streams are also available on Sonos and Google and Amazon’s line of smart speakers.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story attributed information to a source who said on background that Pluto TV’s agreement with Dash Radio expired earlier this month. A spokesperson for Pluto TV said the audio channels were actually removed from the service due to a technical glitch.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).