Something to look forward to: Plex may be on its way to becoming a single hub for the dozen or so subscription services out there as the company forms a partnership with Warner Bros. that'll see the latter making some of its movie catalog available on the free streaming platform. The content will be available for all Plex users in the app in a move that will see the company launching an ad-supported streaming service later this year.
Following a recent refresh of its desktop app, Plex will soon be home to some free ad-supported content from Warner Bros. The company is also looking to resell video subscription services via its app by the first half of 2020.
"You shouldn’t have to go to a lot of different apps to get the content you care about,” said Plex CEO Keith Valory, speaking to Variety. While most users are well acquainted with the personal streaming service, the way its Plex Media Server enables storing, streaming and organizing digital content on home PCs, NAS drives or similar devices, Keith says that the company's first three or four years were all about building the "underlying structure," which later expanded to include stuff like free news videos, web shows, podcasts and OTA broadcast TV programming.
The agreement with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution doesn't shed light on which content will be made available, but users can expect a part of Warner Bros. movie catalog to appear on Plex.
Citing piracy concerns that usually surround Plex, given the platform's core features and functionality, Valory said that "We are iTunes, we are not Napster," with co-founder and chief product officer Scott Olechowski adding that "We’re not actually helping you find content that you shouldn’t have," and that the service had gone through security audits by all major industry players as it prepares to launch its ad-supported streaming and transactional video-on-demand.
Commenting on the backlash that Plex could receive following this development, Olechowski said, "Anytime we do anything, there are some who don’t like what we do [...] It doesn’t matter what it is. And it’s a vocal minority, every single time," but hoped that once the platform features great content such as that under this Warner Bros. deal, it would be able to convince haters to use it.
Future plans for the streaming service involve things like suggesting users subscribe to a podcast or watch ad-supported sequels to a movie via its upcoming streaming integrations. And while the idea of presenting multiple streaming services from Apple, Disney etc., in segregation under a single app seems like an uphill task, Olechowski says that he wants Plex to become "the place where fans go," by allowing them to go deep on their subjects of interest.