It started with Elmo. A little over a year ago, web entrepreneur Ilya Pozin was working on his computer with his two-year-old daughter perched in his lap. To keep her entertained, he was searching for online Sesame Street videos. He’d put one on, but after each one ended, his daughter would yell out, “More Elmo, Daddy!” — and Pozin would have to go on the hunt for another video. “I’m sitting there thinking, ‘Why am I having to DJ for her every three minutes?’” Pozin says, laughing. “I should be able to just throw on a channel for my daughter that plays videos she loves constantly.”
So he and co-founders Nick Grouf and Tom Ryan built a new web platform, Pluto.TV, to do just that. The platform, which launched today, March 31, essentially sifts through the millions of online videos available on Youtube and elsewhere, finds the best ones, and then put them into channels, and shows on those channels, that run 24/7. It’s like a cable menu for online video. So, for instance, if you’re really, really into cute cat videos (and let’s face it, who isn’t), you can click on Pluto’s Cats channel, and watch a curated list of the best of those — everything from shows on “Big Cats” to “Kitten Zone” — all.day.long., for free. You can also DVR stuff and invite friends via Facebook to watch videos with you (and chat about them) live.