Plex today launches its own ad-supported streaming service that competes with The Roku Channel, Tubi, Crackle, Voodoo's Movies on Us and others that allow free streaming of movies and television without subscription. The service will include several thousand films and shows from studios such as MGM, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, Lionsgate and Legendary – deals that were announced before today's launch.
However, there are many similar offers on the market What makes Plex's new streaming service unique is its wide availability. Unlike many of its competitors, Plex has structured its deals to stream content outside the United States. Plex told TechCrunch that most of the content is streamed in about 220 countries worldwide. This immediately makes it the largest advertising-based video service in terms of reach ̵
Like other free streaming services Plex's free content does not require a subscription or other commitment, but is fully supported by ads.
Today's service will include pre-roll ads as well as traditional commercial breaks, but Plex promises to deliver an ad spend that is 50% -60% less than on television. Currently, Plex partners with ad networks to sell these ads, but announces that direct sales could start in 2020. Over the years, this app has become more than just a home improvement media player for home media. Today, Plex organizes its own media collections along with podcasts, web shows, streaming news and music, thanks to a TIDAL partnership. The free, ad-supported content is now displayed in the Plex sidebar under the new heading "Movies & TV".
This section arranges content in a Netflix-style layout with thumbnails, browsing, and hubs for finding popular, trendy, or genre-specific content, for example.
Plex has also introduced several editorially curated hubs and hubs tailored for their users based on their cross-platform, cross-content observation history.
A total of about 70 different hubs could appear here, says Plex.
By clicking through the titles, details such as genre, rating, year, length, description and even reviews are displayed and ratings of Rotten Tomatoes, among other metadata. The songs are streamed in 1080p, and you can mark items as well as personal media as played.
Sample titles available for launch include a number of classics, cult classics, and even winners such as Rain Main, The Terminator, Overboard, Frequency, Evil Dead (1 & 2), Teen Wolf and music concerts and documentaries with Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, Deadmau5 and more.
Content is available on all Plex platforms, including Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, smart TVs,
mobile Android and iOS platforms, Xbox, PlayStation, Amazon Fire TV, and others.
"Plex arose out of a passion for media Offering free, ad-supported premium movies and TV shows is just the final step in our mission to bring all your favorite content together in one place," said Keith Valory, CEO of Plex, in a statement. "What began more than a decade ago as a passion project for easier access to media on connected devices has become the industry's most comprehensive streaming platform used by millions of people around the world," he added.
TechCrunch first The news about Plex's plans to enter the ad-supported movie market was released in January when a strategy similar to that of the Roku channel was described.
Today, Plex has 15 million registered households that use its service. Although the service is profitable, the percentage of customers paying for their advanced features with a Plex Pass subscription is much lower. This has led Plex to find new ways to earn revenue from its free users – and ad-supported content is a natural choice in this case.