- According to a new report, Plex plans to add video and audio podcasts to the app.
- The company also wants add digital, web-first, and long-form content.
- Plex could team up with hardware manufacturers to pair its software with a device combining a TV tuner and antenna.
Cord-cutters are dealing with a frustrating reality: our media is everywhere. Movies and TV are spread out among streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Go. Podcasts are in one place and news is in another. All of those movies you ripped from your DVD collection? Those are somewhere else. Sometimes it can take almost as long to find something as it takes to consume it.
Plex is trying to solve that.
For years the company has been a hub for your personal movie and television files. Recently, it moved into gathering news clips for users after acquiring streaming startup Watchup. It also offers live television broadcasts for users who own an antenna and tuner. As Plex has grown, it’s added enticing features piece by piece. Now, it’s planning to add another.
According to TechCrunch, Plex will add the ability to discover, watch, and listen to both video and audio podcasts. The new feature should be ready in the first quarter of 2018. But just adding podcasts isn’t the end goal. To understand what the company is trying to do long-term, look to its purchase of Watchup.
When Plex bought Watchup, it didn’t just acquire the content deals and talent from the company. It also acquired the technology which recommended content for users. That technology is now a key part of Plex’s future and can be used across all forms of media. If the company sees you have pictures uploaded from several vacations in the last year, it could recommend travel shows. If you listen to a lot of political podcasts, it can suggest news clips and movies which focus on events in Washington.
Plex doesn’t just want to offer podcasts. The company plans to add digital, web-first, and long-form content as well. It is currently in talks with creators to add their content to Plex when that service launches. Plex doesn’t need to sell these creators on an alternative to YouTube, it can be an addition to YouTube. With a powerful algorithm behind its suggestions, it can offer more eyes for content creators.
The biggest play for Plex could be to license out its software. The company is in early talks with companies that want to combine TV tuners and digital antennas into one device. Those two pieces of equipment are required for users to take advantage of Plex’s live TV streaming and DVR functionality. Companies could bundle Plex with the devices, introducing the service to a new group of users. Once it has users in its ecosystem, it’s easier to get them to buy the company’s premium Plex Pass.
Plex’s goal is clear: it wants to be the central hub for all of your entertainment needs. Down the road, it could integrate content from streaming providers like Hulu, Netflix, and HBO with your personal files, to make a one-stop shop. Using a ton of different apps and services is certainly an annoying pain point, which Plex hopes to ease in the next few years.