Plex may take on Roku, Amazon, Apple & others with ad-supported movies & third-party subsc...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 8
Best known for its apps serving up locally-stored media, Plex is reportedly jumping into the world of ad-supported movies, as well as selling subscriptions to outside services.

Go watch Kwaidan, seriously


For the new content, the company may be building off a recent partnership with Tidal, allowing people to pay $9.99 per month for a bundle including both Plex Pass and Tidal's music catalog. New transaction functions had to be built for the arrangement.

The company is "in discussions with rights holders and content providers," according to a recent report by TechCrunch. Plex users can already stream online news, podcasts, and Web shows, but these are all free.

Roku has enjoyed some success with the Roku Channel, an app exclusive to its platform with a small selection of ad-funded movies. The approach attracted the attention of YouTube, which recently began emulating the formula.

Amazon helped pioneer selling third-party subscriptions with Channels, which lets Prime members add subscriptions to networks like HBO and Cinemax. The advantage is the ability to get on-demand content from multiple services within Prime Video, instead of having to switch apps to find a particular show or movie.

Apple is rumored to be working on its own equivalent of Channels as a companion to over $1 billion in original movies and TV shows. Combined with hardware sales, outside subscriptions could help pay for the costs of the original content and pave the way for a paid first-party service, though Apple is allegedly searching for "tent pole" shows that would draw in the public, much like "Game of Thrones" on HBO or "Stranger Things" on Netflix.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,007member
    Plex is near enough the only reason I use my AppleTV, its great. Auto processing of TV shows and movies and on the fly re-encoding to the correct format. Apple's "computers" app is crap. It needs exactly the right format and needs iTunes running all the time on an awake computer. Bonjour sleep proxy doesn't work reliably with iTunes or the computers app either. It'll be interesting to see Plex's TV offerings, if they ever come to the UK.

    Apple's current stance is that they're only going for family-oriented politically correct shows, which might be nice for some, but won't be quite the revered "tentpole" that the likes of Game of Thrones, Walking Dead and Orange is the New Black are.
    allmypeoplelordjohnwhorfinjbdragon
  • Reply 2 of 18
    elijahg said:
    Plex is near enough the only reason I use my AppleTV, its great. Auto processing of TV shows and movies and on the fly re-encoding to the correct format. Apple's "computers" app is crap. It needs exactly the right format and needs iTunes running all the time on an awake computer. Bonjour sleep proxy doesn't work reliably with iTunes or the computers app either. It'll be interesting to see Plex's TV offerings, if they ever come to the UK.

    Apple's current stance is that they're only going for family-oriented politically correct shows, which might be nice for some, but won't be quite the revered "tentpole" that the likes of Game of Thrones, Walking Dead and Orange is the New Black are.
    I tried out plex on a NAS, and all I can say is meh.  It kept prompting me to sign up for a plex account even though I didn’t want to, and all my content was on my NAS.  Regarding keeping iTunes always on, don’t you have to keep plex server always on?  Don’t see much of a difference there.  Just get and old Mac and have be your “iTunes server”.

    ive not watched the other 2 titles, but GoT i could take it or leave it.  It’s one of those that I probably won’t ever watch again, or will admit to anyone in person that I have watched.
  • Reply 3 of 18
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 1,007member
    elijahg said:
    Plex is near enough the only reason I use my AppleTV, its great. Auto processing of TV shows and movies and on the fly re-encoding to the correct format. Apple's "computers" app is crap. It needs exactly the right format and needs iTunes running all the time on an awake computer. Bonjour sleep proxy doesn't work reliably with iTunes or the computers app either. It'll be interesting to see Plex's TV offerings, if they ever come to the UK.

    Apple's current stance is that they're only going for family-oriented politically correct shows, which might be nice for some, but won't be quite the revered "tentpole" that the likes of Game of Thrones, Walking Dead and Orange is the New Black are.
    I tried out plex on a NAS, and all I can say is meh.  It kept prompting me to sign up for a plex account even though I didn’t want to, and all my content was on my NAS.  Regarding keeping iTunes always on, don’t you have to keep plex server always on?  Don’t see much of a difference there.  Just get and old Mac and have be your “iTunes server”.

    ive not watched the other 2 titles, but GoT i could take it or leave it.  It’s one of those that I probably won’t ever watch again, or will admit to anyone in person that I have watched.
    Oh weird, I have had it prompt me once or twice, but its only on major updates. Only like once a year. You do have to keep Plex server running all the time yes, but there are plenty of devices it runs on without needing a full-blown computer; plus it runs in the background rather than a desktop app. I run a Plex server on a Pi, and there're NAS devices with it too such as yours. I used to run iTunes on an old Mini, but it required restarting iTunes so often to make it work I gave up. A Pi also uses a couple of watts, whereas older Mac minis are around 50w.

    They're really highly rated by most, because they're unusual, different and interesting with good plot lines. Family-oriented stuff tends to have a very simplistic storyline and is a bit mundane in my opinion, certainly not particularly notable - which Apple needs if it wants to start off with a bang.
  • Reply 4 of 18
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 458member
    Plex yes, ads in any form - no.

    Seems everyone is determined to push ads in your face. I see ads as the scourge of our time, from “naming rights” to in app advertising. Even PBS which gets tax money and billions in tax exempt donations in the form of memberships, pushes “enhanced” underwriting- code for advertising.

    There is no free lunch and I do not mind paying for ad free content. I do not want to pay for content and be served ads.
    allmypeopleelijahg
  • Reply 5 of 18
     Don’t see much of a difference there.  Just get and old Mac and have be your “iTunes server”.

    .

    I went all-in with iTunes for this purpose in 2008 and have been building regret every year iTunes has had a horrible update.

    If you're into Film/TV/Home movies, iTunes has only become more irritating to use and Apple doesn't seem to care. 

    elijahg said:
    Plex is near enough the only reason I use my AppleTV, its great. Auto processing of TV shows and movies and on the fly re-encoding to the correct format. Apple's "computers" app is crap. It needs exactly the right format and needs iTunes running all the time on an awake computer. Bonjour sleep proxy doesn't work reliably with iTunes or the computers app either. It'll be interesting to see Plex's TV offerings, if they ever come to the UK.
    I have been considering Plex. Any other impressions? I spent hours with Apple tech trying to solve why my ATV wouldn't wake up my computer to play files. Never fixed that. 

    I love the ATV but iTunes does absolutely nothing to improve my ability to organize media.  The program (and dev team, i guess) seem OBSESSED with wanting to make it "pretty" rather than functional. Can you access your media on Plex when you're outside the home or do you have to download the content off your network ?



  • Reply 6 of 18
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,898administrator
     Don’t see much of a difference there.  Just get and old Mac and have be your “iTunes server”.

    .

    I went all-in with iTunes for this purpose in 2008 and have been building regret every year iTunes has had a horrible update.

    If you're into Film/TV/Home movies, iTunes has only become more irritating to use and Apple doesn't seem to care. 

    elijahg said:
    Plex is near enough the only reason I use my AppleTV, its great. Auto processing of TV shows and movies and on the fly re-encoding to the correct format. Apple's "computers" app is crap. It needs exactly the right format and needs iTunes running all the time on an awake computer. Bonjour sleep proxy doesn't work reliably with iTunes or the computers app either. It'll be interesting to see Plex's TV offerings, if they ever come to the UK.
    I have been considering Plex. Any other impressions? I spent hours with Apple tech trying to solve why my ATV wouldn't wake up my computer to play files. Never fixed that. 

    I love the ATV but iTunes does absolutely nothing to improve my ability to organize media.  The program (and dev team, i guess) seem OBSESSED with wanting to make it "pretty" rather than functional. Can you access your media on Plex when you're outside the home or do you have to download the content off your network ?



    Odds are the ATV not waking up the Mac is because of your network gear not passing the wakeup packet correctly. That may not be better with Plex -- but it's easy to try as the app and server are free. If you pay for the flex pass, and your upload speed on your internet connection at home is beefy enough, you can access the media outside your home.

    There is a lot to this. I have a combined iTunes/Plex/Infuse setup here in the bunker.
    allmypeople
  • Reply 7 of 18

    There is a lot to this. I have a combined iTunes/Plex/Infuse setup here in the bunker.
    How do you use that combination? Kept iTunes for music? 
  • Reply 8 of 18
    I have been considering Plex. Any other impressions? I spent hours with Apple tech trying to solve why my ATV wouldn't wake up my computer to play files. Never fixed that. 

    I love the ATV but iTunes does absolutely nothing to improve my ability to organize media.  The program (and dev team, i guess) seem OBSESSED with wanting to make it "pretty" rather than functional. Can you access your media on Plex when you're outside the home or do you have to download the content off your network ?
    Yes, you can access Plex outside your home network. I've used it many, many times while away on vacation, or to download something from my Plex server for a flight back home.

    I've been a Plex user for years and years (back when it was horrible to set up). It's not perfect, but it's the best thing I've found for managing my content. I'm not a fan of the changes they made to the iOS app (many more clicks to get to the content you want), but I've learned to adapt to it. 90% of my Plex viewing is on my Apple TV, which has a straight-forward interface. If they ever change that to mimic the iOS version then I'll be looking for a change as well, likely moving towards Infuse paired with the Plex server.
    jbdragon
  • Reply 9 of 18
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,492member
    I sort of keep waiting for an entrepreneur to to revisit the whole concept of ads. As the Kings Of Ads (e.g. google, facebook) know, the value to an ad is in getting it front of someone likely to be influenced by it. The Kings(tm) have simply stolen or defrauded people out of this information to enable them to sell effective ads. 

    But there is another way: sell consumers on being able to opt in to ads on a specific basis. Yes, this is what is referenced in the article in that by accepting ads, you get a free movie. But the ads I get on TV are essentially random. I get ads for the Boeing Corporation, and gee, I've not bought a lot of airliners or missiles lately. Some ads I can't tell what they are selling (remember the Running of the Squirrels and the Cat Herders? No idea what they were selling, but they had clever memorable ads.) Offer consumers of content a system to select types of ads they are willing to accept in return for the content...and pay them to do so. Maybe a penny an ad to an account they can use to buy ad free content? The user can select genre of ads, or even specific retailers. People will go nuts to try to collect revenue from a system like that. Heck, let advertisers bid on categories - a consumer can set a price to watch each type of ad. Pay me a nickel to see a chik fil a ad, but I'll take an Apple ad for a penny. 

    Ready go.


  • Reply 10 of 18
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,898administrator

    There is a lot to this. I have a combined iTunes/Plex/Infuse setup here in the bunker.
    How do you use that combination? Kept iTunes for music? 
    Kept iTunes for music and for the senior citizens in the house that don't want to learn anything new, given that I spent about 10 years ripping their DVDs to my home server. Plex and Infuse in parallel are more for testing than anything else. 

    I find Plex a better solution for outside the house and streaming to iPads and iPhones in the house but Infuse a far, far more robust player for the Apple TV than Plex is.
    allmypeople
  • Reply 11 of 18
    Kept iTunes for music and for the senior citizens in the house that don't want to learn anything new, given that I spent about 10 years ripping their DVDs to my home server. Plex and Infuse in parallel are more for testing than anything else. 

    I find Plex a better solution for outside the house and streaming to iPads and iPhones in the house but Infuse a far, far more robust player for the Apple TV than Plex is.
    There was a bug on the Plex AppleTV client that made navigation really painful (pressing Menu would quit the app instead of going back up to the root level). It's fixed now and the app is really phenomenal. While Infuse is a spectacular player and has countless cool features, I end up never using it because I find it more convenient to keep all my media in a single place, and Infuse just isn't that much better that It would justify the added hassle. How do you use Infuse? Local hard drive? Shared network volume?

    BTW I can't believe you have "Look Around You" how is that for obscure! Are you a "This is Jinsy" fan too?  :smiley: 

    edited January 8 jbdragon
  • Reply 12 of 18
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,898administrator
    Kept iTunes for music and for the senior citizens in the house that don't want to learn anything new, given that I spent about 10 years ripping their DVDs to my home server. Plex and Infuse in parallel are more for testing than anything else. 

    I find Plex a better solution for outside the house and streaming to iPads and iPhones in the house but Infuse a far, far more robust player for the Apple TV than Plex is.
    There was a bug on the Plex AppleTV client that made navigation really painful (pressing Menu would quit the app instead of going back up to the root level). It's fixed now and the app is really phenomenal. While Infuse is a spectacular player and has countless cool features, I end up never using it because I find it more convenient to keep all my media in a single place, and Infuse just isn't that much better that It would justify the added hassle. How do you use Infuse? Local hard drive? Shared network volume?

    BTW I can't believe you have "Look Around You" how is that for obscure! Are you a "This is Jinsy" fan too?  :smiley: 

    Shared network volume for Infuse. The television that uses Infuse is on an outlying spur of my wired network, and I've got an ancient Mac mini serving the content on the same switch to minimize congestion for the rest of the network.

    I believe the screen in the article is Roger's, but I do have "Look Around You." I've only seen a few episodes of "This is Jinsy," but what I've seen, I like. Oddly, it reminds me of the small town I grew up in in many ways.
  • Reply 13 of 18
    Shared network volume for Infuse. The television that uses Infuse is on an outlying spur of my wired network, and I've got an ancient Mac mini serving the content on the same switch to minimize congestion for the rest of the network.

    I believe the screen in the article is Roger's, but I do have "Look Around You." I've only seen a few episodes of "This is Jinsy," but what I've seen, I like. Oddly, it reminds me of the small town I grew up in in many ways.
    I've been very pleased with OpenMediaVault (a free Debian-based media server project that puts FreeNAS, Synology and others to shame) running on an inexpensive HP Proliant MicroG8 server. Small footprint, low power, 4 x 3.5" bays (you can squeeze in a 5th 3.5" drive) fast and reliable. Obviously it's not as simple to setup as a Mac mini, but it's still pretty easy and it lets you repurpose a crappy old PC into a kick-ass media machine, and its plugin architecture provides much more flexibility than its commercial competitors.
    You grew up in a town with Tesselators? Cool ;-)
  • Reply 14 of 18
    How do you use that combination? Kept iTunes for music? 
    Kept iTunes for music and for the senior citizens in the house that don't want to learn anything new, given that I spent about 10 years ripping their DVDs to my home server. Plex and Infuse in parallel are more for testing than anything else. 

    I find Plex a better solution for outside the house and streaming to iPads and iPhones in the house but Infuse a far, far more robust player for the Apple TV than Plex is.
    Ha! I have my parents on ATV and wouldn't dream of switching even though they have problems with navigation sometimes (they're both in their 70s). In the beginning they would forget to click Netflix then end up buying episodes in iTunes simply because it was labelled "TV Shows"

    Do you mind clarifying what you mean when you say Infuse is more robust? I've read that people like that they can throw any file type at it... Do you have all your media stored in one place and Plex and Infuse access it? I'm hesitant about switching from iTunes because I know the switch will be a time vampire and hate the thought of getting it wrong.
  • Reply 15 of 18
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,898administrator
    How do you use that combination? Kept iTunes for music? 
    Kept iTunes for music and for the senior citizens in the house that don't want to learn anything new, given that I spent about 10 years ripping their DVDs to my home server. Plex and Infuse in parallel are more for testing than anything else. 

    I find Plex a better solution for outside the house and streaming to iPads and iPhones in the house but Infuse a far, far more robust player for the Apple TV than Plex is.
    Ha! I have my parents on ATV and wouldn't dream of switching even though they have problems with navigation sometimes (they're both in their 70s). In the beginning they would forget to click Netflix then end up buying episodes in iTunes simply because it was labelled "TV Shows"

    Do you mind clarifying what you mean when you say Infuse is more robust? I've read that people like that they can throw any file type at it... Do you have all your media stored in one place and Plex and Infuse access it? I'm hesitant about switching from iTunes because I know the switch will be a time vampire and hate the thought of getting it wrong.
    The Plex player is good. But, if you've got a file outside of what the player considers to be a normal one, the transcoding begins. On a 1:1 basis, this isn't a bad thing, but with more streams, you can bog down your serving machine something awful.

    Technically, I have all my media stored in two places -- a central server, and one on the outer fringes of my network -- the aforementioned machine next to the living room television. Plex is pointed at the main library, here, about three feet away from me in my office, and Infuse in the living room is pointed at the living room's host a half a floor, five switches, and about 400 feet in Ethernet cable away. I have yet to see a file container and encode that Infuse can't handle.
    allmypeople
  • Reply 16 of 18
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,596member
    elijahg said:
    Apple's current stance is that they're only going for family-oriented politically correct shows, which might be nice for some, but won't be quite the revered "tentpole" that the likes of Game of Thrones, Walking Dead and Orange is the New Black are.
    Actually that's a rumor, no one knows. Regardless, the networks have had some excellent PG-rated content for years. I loved Lost, and there wasn't a single bewb. It's the drama that matters, not nudity or violence or language. I also love HBO's content. As a  private company that's their decision to make, should they choose to. Apple doesn't have to try to be everything to everybody.
    stompy
  • Reply 17 of 18
    carnegiecarnegie Posts: 734member
     Don’t see much of a difference there.  Just get and old Mac and have be your “iTunes server”.

    .

    I went all-in with iTunes for this purpose in 2008 and have been building regret every year iTunes has had a horrible update.

    If you're into Film/TV/Home movies, iTunes has only become more irritating to use and Apple doesn't seem to care. 

    elijahg said:
    Plex is near enough the only reason I use my AppleTV, its great. Auto processing of TV shows and movies and on the fly re-encoding to the correct format. Apple's "computers" app is crap. It needs exactly the right format and needs iTunes running all the time on an awake computer. Bonjour sleep proxy doesn't work reliably with iTunes or the computers app either. It'll be interesting to see Plex's TV offerings, if they ever come to the UK.
    I have been considering Plex. Any other impressions? I spent hours with Apple tech trying to solve why my ATV wouldn't wake up my computer to play files. Never fixed that. 

    I love the ATV but iTunes does absolutely nothing to improve my ability to organize media.  The program (and dev team, i guess) seem OBSESSED with wanting to make it "pretty" rather than functional. Can you access your media on Plex when you're outside the home or do you have to download the content off your network ?



    Odds are the ATV not waking up the Mac is because of your network gear not passing the wakeup packet correctly. That may not be better with Plex -- but it's easy to try as the app and server are free. If you pay for the flex pass, and your upload speed on your internet connection at home is beefy enough, you can access the media outside your home.

    There is a lot to this. I have a combined iTunes/Plex/Infuse setup here in the bunker.
    To be clear about this for those who don't use Plex: You can access your media from outside your home even if you don't pay for the Plex Pass.

    The Plex Pass allows you to download media to, e.g., the Plex app on your iPhone. But even without that pass you can - when outside your home network - stream media to smartphones or tablets (if you buy the app) or to other computers or, e.g., an Apple TV (with a free app).  
  • Reply 18 of 18
    Ha! I have my parents on ATV and wouldn't dream of switching even though they have problems with navigation sometimes (they're both in their 70s). In the beginning they would forget to click Netflix then end up buying episodes in iTunes simply because it was labelled "TV Shows"

    Do you mind clarifying what you mean when you say Infuse is more robust? I've read that people like that they can throw any file type at it... Do you have all your media stored in one place and Plex and Infuse access it? I'm hesitant about switching from iTunes because I know the switch will be a time vampire and hate the thought of getting it wrong.
    The Plex player is good. But, if you've got a file outside of what the player considers to be a normal one, the transcoding begins. On a 1:1 basis, this isn't a bad thing, but with more streams, you can bog down your serving machine something awful.

    Technically, I have all my media stored in two places -- a central server, and one on the outer fringes of my network -- the aforementioned machine next to the living room television. Plex is pointed at the main library, here, about three feet away from me in my office, and Infuse in the living room is pointed at the living room's host a half a floor, five switches, and about 400 feet in Ethernet cable away. I have yet to see a file container and encode that Infuse can't handle.

    Thanks I appreciate you sharing. This is one of those things where there isn't a "perfect" solution. Everyone seems to approach things differently.
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