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Plex News is a free, curated news service available now

Plex is beginning to roll out Plex News. The company's latest effort to become your hub for all things media will offer free news coverage to all users.

Published onSeptember 26, 2017

In a world where real headlines can sometimes be crazier than the plots of movies or TV shows, it’s important to stay up to date on what’s going on around us. As we move closer to technology for our headlines and further away from sitting down in front of the TV to watch the six o’clock news, it’s getting harder and harder to get curated newscast.

We used to rely on a local TV station to deliver you the biggest headlines of the day but there’s been a democratization of news in recent years that leaves many searching out headlines. That can be great as it’s easier to stay up to date on what’s most important to you, but you may be missing out on headlines you’d otherwise be exposed to.

With all of that in mind, Plex is now launching a News section to help you stay up to date on the world around you. It’ll focus on the topics you want and learn over time. As you watch and set preferences, the machine-learning behind Plex News will deliver more relevant headlines to you. The headlines come in the form of videos delivered to you from over 190 content partners. These partners range from local television stations (Plex has partners in 80% of local markets), national outfits like CNN, and specialized providers like CNET and Financial Times.

Plex is international, too. Those 190 partners span the globe and reside in countries like Spain and Germany. There aren’t currently any geo-fencing restrictions right now. During the demo we saw, you were able to change your location to pick up news from other parts of the world. Plex couldn’t promise this continue in the future due to licensing agreements, but at launch, you should be able to hop around.

The news you consume is entirely up to you, too. You have the ability to go in and turn off categories or channels that don’t interest you. If you’re not a sports fan, you can go in and nix the sports channel in seconds. You’ll only see stories the biggest stories that revolve around sports like the recent National Anthem controversy in the NFL. You’ll also be able to block certain content providers or state your interest (or disinterest) in the content of a currently playing video. Don’t like Mylie Cyrus? While the video is playing, you can tell Plex you have no interest in her and it’ll remove videos from your playlist.

Plex News isn’t one contained newscast with multiple stories being thrown at you from a news desk. Though, it is ad supported like one. You won’t see nearly as many commercials as a normal newscast, but Plex says ads are the easiest way for it to bring users high-quality content. During our chat, Plex made sure to point out that you’ll never see an ad as the first thing in your playlist. Once you get three or four videos deep, you will probably see one pop up. If watching ad-supported content isn’t your thing or you’re just not into news, you can turn off Plex News from your dashboard.

Plex News will start its rollout now and reach all users with supported devices within 48 hours. You do not need a Plex Pass (paid subscription) or even an active Plex Media Server to watch Plex News. Paid users will get Plex News first, but it should show up for everyone, paid or not, within 48 hours. Plex says that users with Android TV (including NVIDIA SHIELD), Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, Android, and iOS will be the first to see Plex News. It’ll roll out to the desktop version of Plex soon with other devices like game consoles getting it in Q4 2017.

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