Streaming services fans are about to be spoilt for choice as new platforms prepare to launch left, right and center. With this buffet of content on the horizon, Plex is keen to become the hub where people can manage all of their options.
In the past, Plex developed a reputation for being the place to shop for pirated content, but now it’s turning over a new leaf by offering users the choice of purchasing video subscriptions directly from its platform.
The service is rumoured to become available at some point during the first half of 2020, with Plex also planning to launch a streaming service of its own using content from various networks and studios. Users will be able to use this ad-supported platform to purchase VOD titles, giving them even choice within the streaming sphere.
However, while these plans appear to look like moves to make Plex come out on top in the streaming wars, CEO Keith Valory has made it clear that the company isn’t trying to take on major platforms such as Netflix. They are instead partnering with companies such as Warner Bros to make part of their movie catalog available through them.
While streaming services are working hard to create and purchase new and popular content to build up their libraries ahead of competitors launching fresh offerings for consumers, Plex instead aims to collect them all and place them in a single hub for convenience, saving people the effort of switching between various apps to browse all of the content they have access to.
Plex currently has 20 million registered accounts, but it’s currently unclear how many companies will be willing to partner with Plex on their hub plans. That being said, company executives have mentioned that they are considering adding bundle packages for streaming services from 2020. Currently, Plex has an active bundle with Tidal for premium subscribers, and their goal is to add other services into the mix.
Since partnering with Warner Bros, users will be able to see upcoming available titles using Plex within a few months, but it is currently unclear how much content will be available through the platform.
The new setup challenges the one available with The Roku Channel, as it uses a similar premise. The Roku Channel is a first-party channel which offers ad-supported content for free. Roku currently has more active accounts than Plex, as the company finished the second quarter with 30.5 million subscribers. The word ‘active’ means that they have streamed within the last 30 days of the quarter.
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