Plex launches ad-supported streaming service
James R | On 10, Dec 2019
Plex is stepping up its streaming presence with the launch of a new ad-supported service offering free movies and TV shows.
Plex has been a fixture of tech-savvy living rooms for some time, providing a way for users to catalogue their own media libraries and stream it between devices. Recently, it has begun to flex its muscles by added support for, and centralised access to, more media types, from podcasts to DVR recordings and streaming music. Now, it’s going one step further with the launch ad-supported films and series. By augmenting every user’s catalogue of media with free movies and shows, the aim is to retain existing customers, while using the app’s ability to function as a hub for all media as an incentive to attract new users.
Movies and TV shows have been acquired from MGM, Warner Bros., Lionsgate and Legendary and the service is being launched in more than 200 countries and territories. Acquiring the rights for that many counties was vital, CEO Keith Valory told Variety, with more than half of Plex’s users based outside of the USA. Films available include Rain Man, Teen Wolf and The Terminator.
The new service can be accessed through the Plex app, which is available on Android and iOS, as well as Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV and other smart TV and gaming platforms and devices.
With most of the content on ad-supported streaming services typically non-exclusive, Plex will be looking to keep its volume of ads low to help distinguish itself from the crowd.
“We really want the ad experience to be great,” Valory told Variety. “This will have about one-third of the ads than on traditional TV.”