Plex is launching its own free, ad-supported streaming service featuring movies, TV shows, and more. The company says that movies are available worldwide.
To watch content you will have to endure regular ad breaks, before and during the movie. In that sense Plex's streaming service is similar to The Roku Channel, Tubi, Vudu's Movies on Us, and IMDb TV.
The main difference is that Plex is launching in over 200 countries and regions, making it available essentially worldwide, according to the company. Plex has signed deals with major Hollywood studios such as Warner Bros, MGM and Lionsgate.
- "While there are certainly other free streaming services out there, we’re the first to offer a vast, free, diverse collection of content for a truly global audience. Starting today, Plex will deliver more content to more countries than any other free streaming service to date. We wanted to offer more entertainment—both classics and new favorites—and do so in a way that is high-quality (for those who care about encoding quality) while serving only about one-third the amount of ads you’d expect on cable television," said Plex.
Plex is highlighting titles such as Rain Main, The Terminator, Apocalypse Now, Raging Bull, and Lord of War. However, these titles appear to be missing in regions outside the US, making the library less appealing in most parts of the world.
In fact, flipping our VPN between different countries reveals that the movie library is extremely limited in most regions outside the US so take those claims of 'global' availability with a grain of salt.
Plex's service is not the first free ad-supported service (so-called AVOD - Ad-supported Video On Demand) so by now we have a pretty good idea about how this stuff generally works. Besides having to endure ads you are also 'paying' with your viewing data that can be used to target ads on the same or other platforms.
On the other hand Plex is reassuring its users that they will not see ads in personal content and that Hollywood and partners will not have "any access or visibility into the content or metadata that our users have in their personal media collection". A Plex Pass will not remove ads or reduce frequency.
- "Over time, we’ll be adding more stuff from different studios and creators—from Oscar-winning Hollywood movies to the latest from India, Russia, China, Japan, Africa, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe to really cool independent movies fresh off the festival circuit."
Video can be streamed in up to 1080p. Plex says that there are "1000's of free movies" available at launch.
You can try it out at plex.tv/free or from within the Plex app on platforms such as Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, PlayStation, Xbox, and Smart TVs. The company has also published a FAQ here.