Plex adds over 80 linear channels to free, ad-supported service

Plex’s addition of linear TV is distinct from the company’s already available “over-the-air” TV and DVR feature, which requires a digital antenna and tuner. (Plex)

Plex is adding more than 80 linear TV channels to its existing free, ad-supported streaming video service available worldwide.

The newly added linear channels include news like Reuters and Yahoo Finance; kids’ shows like Toon Goggles; food, travel, and home and design programming like Tastemade; sports like fubo Sports Network; esports like IGN1; and LGBTQ+ channels like Revry.

“Two of the most important factors for an enjoyable streaming experience are easily being able to find something of interest to watch, and being able to watch it from any device you choose,” said Plex CEO Keith Valory in a statement. “Plex offers consumers across the globe a simple yet powerful platform for access to all types of content that can be streamed from all types of devices.” 

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The majority of Plex’s new channels are available globally but some are restricted to the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the U.K.; some are available only in the U.S. and Canada; and some are only available in the U.S., including some U.S.-only feeds of global channels.

RELATED: Plex expands AVOD library through Endemol Shine deal

Plex’s addition of linear TV is distinct from the company’s already available “over-the-air” TV and DVR feature, which requires a digital antenna and tuner. The new Live TV service does not require any hardware or setup.

Last year Plex launched an AVOD service in more than 200 countries. The service includes licensed films from partners like Warner Bros., MGM, Legendary, Lionsgate and Endemol Shine. At that time the company said it was primarily offering programmatic advertising. In 2020, the company expects to develop an internal ad sales team, but for now it partners with SpotX for programmatic sales within its news shows and web series.

Besides providing access for advertisers and agencies to new audiences, Plex is pledging to be more generous than other AVOD providers in sending user data back to content companies. Valory said that it won’t provide any data to content providers about what’s in Plex users’ personal media libraries but it will provide a lot of the anonymous, aggregated usage data that comes from opt-in third-party content viewing.

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