Plex, the streaming platform for hard-core computer geeks aiming for the mainstream Netflix market, is joining the live-streaming trend, announcing the addition of more than 80 live, linear channels to its platform.
Los Gatos, Calif.-based Plex is an outlier in the OTT business, combining a media server solution long popular with tech enthusiasts with a growing free ad-supported streaming service.
In July, the platform added a new “Live TV on Plex” feature to its viewing options, with users able to stream linear channels including Reuters, Yahoo Finance, Tastemade, fubo Sports Network, Toon Goggles and Revry, just to name a few.
The live channels add to an already established OTA feature that enables users to build a pay TV-like live/linear programming grid, complete with DVR.
“Combining the new Live TV service with the over-the-air TV and DVR feature, Plex offers the most comprehensive and least expensive streaming TV service in the world,” Keith Valory, CEO of Plex, said.
Plex is following a business trend: Roku is also stacking around 120 licensed live, linear streaming channels with customer over-the-air antenna feeds, creating a grid that looks like your average Dish
“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,” Valory added. “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.”
Plex’s core monetized offering is its media server technology. Plex allows users who store all their digital entertainment — music, illegally and quasi-legally ripped movies from DVDs, podcasts, etc. — on a personal computer or portable hard drive, accessing this content from a wide variety of digital devices. It charges $5 a month for the ability to gain this access via iOS and Android mobile devices.
There are plenty of media server solutions on the market that do the same things, but Plex has been lauded for the way it takes all your content and presents it in a contextualized way that would make Netflix proud.
Adding live, linear streaming channels and an AVOD service, as well as music streaming service Tidal, achieves Plex’s goal of adding to its users’ personal media collections and making the platform an all-in-one media solution for users.
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