While most streaming services are closed systems, Plex is the rare outlier that provides AVOD content while allowing users to play any media they may have stored on their home computers. Today, Plex noted they’ve surpassed 25 million registered users.
After installing the app, Plex users can stream over 130 channels and 20,000 movies for free. That includes free content from Lionsgate, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), Sony Pictures Television, Sinclair Broadcast Group, AMC, A+E, Crackle, and BBC. The service also allows for podcast integration as well.
If you have any personal media, Plex allows you to can also stream that on your various devices as well. For example, if you wanted your family to be able to view home movies that were stored on your hard drive, Plex allows you a private way to share those, like a personal Netflix you curate for specific friends and family.
Plex does offer a premium product that allows for greater control of your media. The Plex Pass option costs $4.99/month, $39.99/year, or $119.99 for a lifetime subscription. If you have Plex Pass, you can connect an antenna to a tuner, record OTA channels, save them on your PC’s hard drive, then replay them through the Plex app. Plex Pass also allows you to download media from the servers you have access to. The premium service also allows you to create multiple user IDs for home use - so you could make a specific tier just for the children in your family.
The flexible system has gained a rabid fanbase that loves curating and sharing its libraries, though there can be a bit of a learning curve - it’s not as straightforward as a standard streaming service if you wish to go beyond the very basics.
Today, Plex announced it’s secured $50 million in new funding to help their growth.
The AVOD space is expected to grow 20% over the next decade, according to Persistence Market Research. As we pile on more apps to our various screens, Plex is hoping to establish dominance with its unique flexibility.