Plex Said to Be Mulling Ad-Supported Movies and More Premium Content Subscriptions

In a bid to compete with the likes of Amazon Prime and Roku, Plex is reportedly planning to offer users ad-supported movies and premium content subscriptions through its platform.

Plex Web Shows

According to TechCrunch, the personal media management service is already in discussions with rights holders and networks to bring ad-supported content to the Plex platform, in a manner similar to the way in which The Roku Channel got up and running.

It's also said to be in talks with premium networks and content providers about offering their programming and subscriptions through Plex.

The idea apparently emerged out of Plex's agreement to bundle Tidal's music streaming service, as this meant it had to build transactional capabilities into its platform that were previously non-existent.
"Now we have the ability to sell other services and bundles," noted Plex co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Scott Olechowski, in a discussion this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. "We're bundling a Plex Pass with TIDAL. That took a little bit of backend work," he continued. "You can imagine a bunch of different premium [content] that comes together in a single or multiple bundles, potentially."
The premium content would be presented to users through the existing Plex interface, which is organized by media type (music, movies, TV, etc.), and would allow them to easily see what sort of content they have access to based on their subscription.

Meanwhile, ad-supported movies would be delivered using Plex's existing ad tech platform, which serves ads in its existing streaming news and web show series.

Before it can offer the new content, Plex reportedly needs to further develop its digital rights management system and one-off purchase transactions backend. It also has to work out how the premium content would be bundled and offered to both paid and non-paying users.

However, all being well, Plex hopes the new content will make its way onto the platform before the end of 2019.

Tags: Plex, CES 2019


Top Rated Comments

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19 weeks ago
As a longtime Plex user and subscriber, it better be *very* optional. I did not install Plex to watch advertisements.
Rating: 18 Votes
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19 weeks ago
Maybe they should get their ass together and fix their clients on multiple platforms before adding more crap their paying users aren't asking for. Their server software is amazing, but their clients are helt together with ducttape and filled with bugs and lacking basic features, which the community has asked them to fix/add for years. Their response the last couple of years? Complete silence, except for the occasional blog post about yet another half-baked feature being added, which may or may not work (YMMV).

I personally took the plunge to Infuse to replace the Apple TV Plex client, because I got tired of their attitude and lack of bug fixes, and have not looked back. It is quite crazy, but Infuse works miles better with Plex Server than Plex's own Apple TV client. And their developers are *really* responsive, so I am quite happy now. My only caveat is that Plex holds the keys to my Server, and can in theory shut it down whenever they want, but I guess I will move to Emby when that happens.
Rating: 9 Votes
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19 weeks ago
Let’s become the very thing that our customers ran away from.
Rating: 7 Votes
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19 weeks ago
I’m a Plex Pass holder. I’m finding the app more and more cumbersome. With the podcasts, news, web shows and all the rest popping up in my library searches, I’m already feeling like there’s some intrusion into the app’s purpose, for me. Even when I go in and turn those items off, they sometimes still populate the search results, which must be a bug (too many of those going un-squashed).

A beautiful, clean interface to scroll through posters of my own curated content. That’s all I wanted.

Over the years, too many once-useful and delightful apps (/cough iTunes) have been saddled with layer upon layer of bloat, rendering them far less usable and compelling. I fear Plex may have already set sail in that direction.
Rating: 7 Votes
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19 weeks ago

As a longtime Plex user and subscriber, it better be *very* optional. I did not install Plex to watch advertisements.

Or even corporate-served content in general. It’s about our bloody libraries!

Maybe they should get their ass together and fix their clients on multiple platforms before adding more crap their paying users aren't asking for.

This, more or less.

I don’t love this news. The original point of Plex was to be an ecosystem for serving our own media. I’ve got 2000 movies and 10,000 television episodes organized nicely and available anywhere. Slowly they’ve been morphing to include other content, through channels, then broadcast TV, and now premium partnerships. Sure someone might enjoy having a single front end for everything but not me. And I’m concerned that my library will get progressively diluted by other stuff as content ownership becomes a thing of the past. I just pray they do the UI right.
Rating: 5 Votes
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19 weeks ago
Just emailed the devs and told them we want them to put the brakes on.

I also emailed NASA and asked them to add me to their astronaut corps.

We’ll see which happens first.
Rating: 4 Votes
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19 weeks ago
The idea of Plex talking to media rights-holders makes me very uncomfortable.

The sad fact of Plex is that in the United States at least, there is essentially no legal way to get content into it. Plex only works with DRM-free video, and the only way to get that is to break the encryption. This means that even if you're just ripping Blu-rays you already own, you're still technically breaking the law.

Plex seems to largely have avoided major legal hassles, presumably because they don't provide any way to "acquire" content, and simply work with what the user already has. I have a hard time believing any content producers negotiating with Plex will be OK with their services being closely integrated with a product that currently deals exclusively with ripped or pirated content without requiring Plex to take measures to limit what users can do with content they provide.
Rating: 2 Votes
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19 weeks ago

Maybe they should get their ass together and fix their clients on multiple platforms before adding more crap their paying users aren't asking for.

I agree.

The new clients are bad. I can deal with change, but I can’t deal with my spouse and children keep telling me Plex doesn’t work on iOS. They miss “old Plex” and don’t like “new Plex”. This never happened with v4.
Rating: 2 Votes
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13 weeks ago

I don't run with any external users - We simply use it as the family media center, and it works very nicely (With Infuse, mind you).

Is Emby worth switching to in the long run, even if Plex Server is working fine for us at the moment?

I was close to buying a Plex Pass back in the days, when it cost a fraction of what it does now - I am so happy that I didn't. Their attitude has removed any respect I had for them.


That’s a good question. Emby isn’t perfect (no software is) but it’s filled in a lot of the gaps that plex has missed for my needs. Most of my gripe with plex has to do with the control the admin has (or lack of) in regard to the users we share content with and the web shows etc I don’t want.

If it’s just you/your family that eliminates a lot of my complaints. That said, Emby allows far greater controls you would have over which members of your family see which libraries, what times of the day. For example if you have children, you can control what time they can access content, ratings and specific libraries. I’m not sure if this is relevant or not for you but it speaks to my overall point. All that said, I would look at what you gain/lose as an ‘Emby Premiere’ user vs a regular user
as it’s structured differently than plex. To your point, plex pass ‘features’ are pretty few and far between and you can get the pretty full experience without paying for a pass. It never hurts to try it out and see how it lines up with your needs.
Rating: 2 Votes
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13 weeks ago
Imo, yes.... Emby is worth the switch. It is better than Plex on most fronts now.
Rating: 1 Votes
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