Plex today officially launched its new ad-supported streaming video service in more than 200 countries.
The service will offer series and movies – including content from Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, Lionsgate and Legendary – with approximately one-third the number of ads shown versus traditional TV, Plex claims.
Plex platform users can now get ad-supported content alongside podcasts, web shows, news, music, live broadcast television, DVR and personal media collections. The service supports Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, smart TVs, Android devices, iOS devices, Xbox, PlayStation and Amazon Fire TV.
On top of the newly added AVOD library, Plex says it serve up cross-content recommendations and discovery features that improve with use to provide more relevant content.
“Plex was born out of a passion for media and entertainment and offering free ad-supported premium movies and TV shows is just the latest step in our mission to bring all your favorite content together in one place,” said Keith Valory, CEO of Plex, in a statement. “What started more than a decade ago as a passion project to make accessing media on connected devices easier has evolved into the most comprehensive streaming platform in the industry, used by millions of people around the world.”
Plex has dabbled in ad-supported streaming before. The company launched a news service a few years ago after acquiring Watchup. Valory said the Watchup deal helped fill in AVOD and backend capabilities along with AI technology for recommendations and analytics.
Plex right now is 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.
“We’ve got a lot of usage data that we’re more than willing to share with ad partners and content partners, as opposed to using that data as leverage in negotiations,” Valory said.