Plex, the popular streaming media app, has made its first major acquisition. The company has bought Watchup, which offers streaming on-demand video news from well over 100 sources.
Watchup was first founded in 2012. Its app launched initially for the iPad, but has since expanded its reach to other platforms, including Android. It aggregates video news from major sources like CBS, CNN, and others, along with local TV news videos from across the US. It also supports Chromecast, so you can watch those videos on your big screen TV.
In a blog post announcing the deal, Plex stated that all of Watchup’s nine employees will be joining the company as part of the acquisition, but it did not discuss the specific financial terms. It hinted strongly that the purchase was part of Plex’s overall plan to offer customers a cord-cutting alternative to getting news and content without a cable or satellite TV subscription.
While not mentioned in the blog post, TechCrunch reports that Watchup’s news video features will be integrated into the main Plex app. That update will reportedly be launched sometime in the second quarter of 2017. In its own blog post about the deal, Watchup confirms that while its own stand alone app will continue to be available for a few more months, it will ultimately be closed down as it is merged with the main Plex app.
This new acquisition shows that the cord-cutter movement is very much alive and well, with plenty of businesses hoping to get involved in its growth. While Plex is known mainly as a local media server app, this new deal with Watchup shows that it has its sights set on offering more than just locally stored videos and music to customers. Streaming news sources could be the first step in the company offering its own internet-based TV service similar to Sling, PlayStation Vue and DirecTV Now.