Sky has invested $500,000 (£310,000) in a US startup that aggregates online video content from across the web and programs it into themed TV channels.

The TV-viewing platform, known as Pluto.TV, enables users to access a range of channels, including traditional genres like music, news, sports, comedy and entertainment as well as dedicated channels catering to specific interests such as hip-hop, surfing, video gaming, stand-up comedy, art and fashion.

Sky hopes that Pluto.TV, based in Los Angeles, will provide it with valuable insight into the way new forms of content are shaping emerging trends in the way people discover and watch TV. 

Emma Lloyd, director of crporate business development at Sky, said: “This partnership enables Sky to draw on the ground-breaking work Pluto.TV are doing to help viewers discover and enjoy the best of online TV through an intuitive and editorially rich TV platform.  

“As we learn about new trends in the way people watch TV, we look forward to sharing our own expertise in content creation, packaging and promotion.”

The service is currently available in the US across a range of platforms, including iOS, Android, Google Chromecast, Amazon Kindle Fire and Fire TV, as well as through the web.

Sky said it will help Pluto.TV to grow by allowing it to tap into its experience in packaging and promoting content.

Tom Ryan, CEO of Pluto.TV, said: “We're excited to have one of the world's leading entertainment and communications companies as an investor in Pluto.TV.

"Sky's considerable strengths in TV content and distribution and their leading position in Europe will be invaluable to us as we scale our business. We look forward to collaborating broadly with Sky to rapidly grow and deliver our online video platform globally across web, mobile and connected TVs.”

Earlier this year, Sky, owned by Rupert Murdoch's media conglomerate, BSkyB, opened a dedicated office in San Francisco to help it forge new partnerships with tech startups.

The company claimed the latest acquisition is part of a wider strategy to drive innovation by partnering with startups.

The investment comes less than a week after Sky announced it had invested in US ad tech firm Sharethrough. Sky has previously invested in a number of other US technology companies, including the IP streaming service provider Roku, the immersive 360 video specialists Jaunt and the video delivery firm 1 Mainstream.

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