Plex recently started an ad-supported, subscription-free video streaming service on its platform, accessible to anyone using the library manager. That's not the company's endgame, though. For 2020 and beyond, Plex is looking to add subscription channels, rentals, purchases, and deep links to content on other streaming platforms like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.
In a talk with TechCrunch during CES, Plex shared some visions for its future. The company wants to expand and improve its ad-supported library, as only about 5,000 titles are available at the moment out of a 40,000 it has access to thanks to content deals. That's because the media has to be optimized for the service first. Once that's done, Plex plans on looking into adding paid subscription services that would come in the form of channels, comparable to Amazon Prime Video Channels or The Roku Channel. HBO and Showtime could realistically be among those, as they have agreed to similar distribution deals in the past (that's not confirmed, though).
Deep-linking to content on other streaming services such as Netflix is a little further out, as CEO Keith Valory says: "We want to have a critical mass of content available before we have the deep linking capabilities." However, if the opportunity for collaboration comes up or if customers demand the integration earlier, he isn't opposed to changing that timeline.
Now that Plex has its own ad-supported streaming service, Tidal integration, and live TV and DVR functionality, the dream of a one-stop solution for media consumption doesn't seem too far out. Here's to hoping it succeeds.