Plex will aggregate streaming services, live TV into one menu

Plex is developing a new interface that will aggregate a number of streaming services and live …

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Plex is developing a new interface that will aggregate a number of streaming services and live TV into a single menu. 

Today the company announced a $50 million growth equity round that will help fund the effort. 

“Everybody knows it’s a pain to sift through all the streaming services to find what you want to watch, and our goal at Plex is to manage your media life for you,” Keith Valory, CEO at Plex said in a statement about the company’s plans. 

“Our job is to understand where everything is, whether it’s from our free library of movies and shows, a subscription service, live on TV, or something you can purchase, and for Plex to be the trusted go-to service to help you find what you want, when you want it.” 

The $50 million comes from an existing investor, Intercap. The financing includes approximately $15 million in new capital for Plex. Plex says the remainder of the funds are being used to purchase shares and options from employees and shareholders. 

The new capital will be used to further Plex’s effort to become an all-in-one hub that will aggregate movies and TV shows from a number of services. 

Plex did not name the streaming services that it plans to draw from. 

The company said its new interface will have a recommendation feature based on things they already watch or listen to. 

“Content providers, creators, and consumers are all paying the price for the explosion of so many streaming media services and the industry needs a trusted way for the experience to be as enjoyable as possible,” Intercap chairman and CEO Jason Chapnik said in a statement. “Plex has always been at the forefront of solving new media challenges and we believe they are primed to solve this problem – they are the cable company of the future.”  

As part of the round, Chapnik has joined Plex’s board of directors as Chairman, and Intercap President James Merkur has also joined the board of directors.  

With Wednesday’s announcement, Plex noted that a Persistence Market Research study has concluded, “the global ad-supported video on demand market is projected to progress at an astonishing rate of 20% over the next decade.” 

Plex kicked off its own ad-supported live TV streaming service in July. The live TV streaming service has more than 80 channels, including fubo sports network and Yahoo Finance. It added six AMC channels last month. In December 2019, Plex launched an on-demand streaming service and later partnered with Crackle to boost its movie library. 

For TV antenna fans, Plex offers a TV guide and DVR service as part of a Plex Pass subscription, which costs $4.99 per month. The company started in 2009 as a way people could tap into their own movie or music collection that’s stored on a PC or hard drive.

Plex reported on Wednesday that it has over 25 million registered users globally.

The company has secured more than 240 entertainment content deals from publishing studios and networks, including Lionsgate, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), Sony Pictures Television, Sinclair Broadcast Group, AMC, A+E, Crackle, and BBC.  

Plex says it has become one of the most widely available ad-supported video-on-demand streaming and live TV service in the industry with users in 193 countries. 

Aggregation is a trend that has become popular in recent months, but mostly among streaming devices. 

The latest Google Chromecast with Google TV now aggregates movies, TV shows from popular streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+ into a single menu. 

Amazon has been gradually rolling out a software update that will dramatically overhaul its home screen. The update is coming to its Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Cube and pendant-shaped Fire TV.

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Jim Kimble is a seasoned industry expert with over two decades of journalism experience. He has been at the forefront of the cord-cutting movement since 2016, testing and writing about TV-related products and services. He founded The Cord Cutting Report in 2016, and serves as the editor.

Major publications, including MarketWatch, Forbes, and South Florida Sun Sentinel, have interviewed Kimble for his years of expertise. He gives advice on the complexities consumers are navigating with streaming options, and over-the-air TV. Kimble has been a staff writer or correspondent for several award-winning, daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe.

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