What does everyone think about the direction Plex is heading? (Becoming a hub for streaming providers along with local content)

What does everyone think about the direction Plex is heading? (Becoming a hub for streaming providers along with local content)


I just want plugins back


Me too D’: To be honest if they bring in services Netflix, they’ll probably totally lock down the app, like they did plugins. I don’t see how an app such as Plex can go from self-hosting media to a commercial streaming aggregator and not have a HUGE exodus of users from Plex to things like emby or jellyfin, etc. If that’s what happens, I’m definitely moving along. There’s plenty of solution out there. It’s consumers choice, and people should probably accept businesses wanna be makin as much money as possible.


I'm pretty sure Plex knows that 100% of users are tied to a server owner. If that server shuts down, all of its users stop using Plex immediately. Plex has been pushing the idea that your users aren't your users, they're Plex user's, but that's simply not true, and Plex knows it. Plex doesn't give a shit about server owners. They don't care if you leave. They just need to ensure that your users don't leave with you. When your server shuts down, grandma's Plex app still has content, and she'll keep using it. Hopefully. Plex will string us along until they think they have the upper hand, then squash self-hosted servers with extreme prejudice. That's the plan, long term. I guarantee it


Eh, but the only people paying for Plex Pass on the regular are the server owners. They do care to an extent, but also know they shot themselves in the foot with the lifetime offering. It's a weird one.


Why do you think they have ad supported content that no server owner will watch? Grandma will watch it.


Right, no, I understand why they're doing it, I just have a hard time believing they'd ever shut down the core of their user model, which is server hosting. Grandma only installed Plex because someone in her family hosted a server in the first place. Without the server owners, growing a user base would be next to impossible.


>Grandma only installed Plex because someone in her family hosted a server in the first place. Yeah, that's the case right now. That's why they're transitioning to a hub model, so that this isn't the case anymore.


There is no business model for being a hub for other streaming companies, that is literally what every Smart TV UI already is. Your opinion when investigated assumes people will ditch the ease and convenience of the interfaces on Amazon Fire TV, Shield, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony etc for Plex? Why would a consumer do that?


My opinion is not that people will use Plex as a hub, my opinion is that Plex thinks people will use Plex as a hub. Deezer thinks putting a button on my Roku remote will convince me to use Deezer. I still don't know what Deezer is. As far as I can tell, Deezer wasted their money. But maybe they got thousands of new users and it was a huge success. Businesses make seemingly idiotic decisions all the time, and they often work really well. Will Plex's strategy work out? Maybe.


first good criticism post ive seen on this thread


My hot take: As long as they don't take anything away related to local media then I'm happy. That said however, if Plex can centralize multiple 3rd party streaming services while using Plex's interface then I'm down for that (I don't see how that will happen but it seems that's what they want to try and do). The whole reason that I use Plex is because I don't want to deal with multiple services and the segregation happening now makes it worse.


Yeah i would love the new feature if true but we all know how despicable these companies are and they will have some fine language in the contract to cut down on pirated content. Since they have no real way of knowing if its pirated theyll just shut down any local content. Cross our fingers plex doesnt bend.


So much this. My fear is they went this paid/consolidated direction because they were getting pressured by copyright holders in the first place. If that’s true, I’m afraid there will be less focus on local content in the future. Only time will tell.


First Plex doesn’t know what you have local so it doesn’t know if it’s breaking copy protection or not Second the Roku has a search on it and it will show you the results and where you can watch it and how much it is. Free with your current subscription or rental or whatever. It would be easy to take those APIs and build a UI that knows what services you have subscribed to and build a library view based on what is available. You probably click a movie and then would be promoted to select which service to use should the content be one more than one. Like on prime and Netflix as much of the content is.


In general, this had been my take on [insert any new feature]. 99.99% of the time, if it's a feature i don't use, i just ignore it and everything keeps working just fine. Based on the posts in this sub, I'm apparently in the minority but I've been using Plex for many, many years and I've almost never had problems with it performing its core function: streaming local media.


I feel the same way as you. My original reason for using Plex was to move my DVDs over to a digital platform, and it has never had a problem with that part. I have access set up for myself and my immediate family, not a huge network of users, and it works great. I then used it as a DVR, and again it's worked very well.


The current system is a mess - I pay for Netflix & Amazon - but keep on using radarr & sonarr and plex just as it's easier to manage. Occasionlly I'll make myself use the right app, if I like the show and want to +1 the view count. No idea if Plex can solve this (Apple and Google have both tried) - but I welcome them taking a stab at it, as it needs fixing by somebody.


Exactly the same as myself. I have a lot of streamers, but I know it doesn't sound like much, but keeping track of what I want to watch next is a pain when using different apps.


People need to look at the Shield homepage now. People need to look at the firestick homepage. They're both full of ads for streaming services and people complain about it. Now Plex are going to do the exact same thing. They're going to fill our homepages with all these bullshit ads and people seem to be happy about it. You guys confuse the shit out of me. How is no one seeing that this is what is coming? Our Plex homepage is about to be overrun with garbage ads for services most of us don't want.


I just want one service that provides all my video needs at once. Netflix was that. Unfortunately it's no longer that due to studio greed, so I resorted to Plex. I will continue my Netflix/Plex combo until companies ditch their custom subscription services and go back to Netflix. If they don't return, then they don't see my money. No way am I subscribing to multiple services for the same media; it's not like I do that with anything else.


>If they don't return, then they don't see my money. Unfortunately, as long as too many people will pay for these services, we will never get consolidation back. People bitch about how much cable costs, but happily spend at least the equivalent dollars on multiple streaming services. It seems cheaper because they don't total up the costs.


I disagree to an *extent*. If the Android TV homepage was ONLY showing you ads for shows/movies on the services you have associated with your device, I think people would like the "feature" a lot more or at least complain less. There are two things about the Android TV setup that really piss me off and make me pissed off every time I see the home screen: 1. It shows me shit for services I don't have (HBO Max being the main one) and have zero intention to purchase. A media device making suggestions for highly rated shows isn't necessarily a bad thing, but when it makes 'suggestions' for services I don't have, it shows very clearly that its intention is only to get me to buy those subscriptions, not to recommend media. 2. In the 'watch next' fields for each service I do have, it no longer let's me directly access the service anymore (I used to be able to go to the Plex section, hit left and access Plex directly). I have to go all the way to the top (first world problem, I know) and select them from a horizontal list. From a practical perspective, this means I hold up to get to the top (and then have to see the recommendations again) and go down to the thing I actually want to use. Bonus thing that makes me mad: 1. The 'what you were watching' type of data seems to be restricted to System apps only (and from a privacy standpoint that does actually make some sense), which means 3rd party launchers can't even replicate the previous iteration of the launcher if they wanted to. If it were just showing me "recommendations" for stuff I have access to, I'd probably ignore it and not even care all that much, but that may just be me. ​ If I run a search for a movie that I don't have and Plex said that it's on Netflix and would let me watch it through there, but in the Plex interface, that would be amazing. If Plex then said that I don't have it locally and my services don't have it, BUT I can rent it for $2 or see it free with ads, I wouldn't be upset by that. If I don't already have the movie I just searched for, I can see a use case where that adds value to my experience, even if I myself would be very unlikely to actually utilize that feature. Hell, in that scenario, where I'm specifically looking for something, I wouldn't even be upset if it threw in a HBO Max ad to show that it's not available in my local, isn't available on any of my services, IS available to rent, but also is available on HBO Max. I think it's all in the way that it's being presented. A full screen ad on a media device is useless, but a contextual ad based on what I just looked for could actually add a lot of value and acting as a hub for a multitude of services would add a lot more value to many of us, I think.


> If the Android TV homepage was ONLY showing you ads for shows/movies on the services I disagree with this only because ads were not a feature when purchased. I would never have bought a shield if ads were present. If plex decides to shoehorn ads in, then obviously the version of PMS without ads would be my last version and I would be looking to clawback my plexpass account funds, as I am with the shield.


Oh, I absolutely agree with you and I wouldn't have either. I am incredibly pissed by this function and the non-ability to turn it off. I'm not saying I *like* the Android TV ads at all, just that I can see justification for "showcasing" content on services that you have added to the service and if they had gone that route instead, I don't think it'd be getting anywhere near the level of hate it's getting. For Plex, acting as a hub would be a big value ADD for me and like I said, as long as it prioritizes local content *always*, I think specific contextual ads could also be a value add in situations where you're specifically searching for something \[movie/tv/music/etc... that you don't have locally and it gives you options. I would think the "options" should always be local content -> already paid for streaming subscriptions -> one-off purchase/rent -> alternative streaming services. AND there should be an easy method to turn that functionality off, if you ONLY want local content.


Nailed it. Don't serve me ads for services I've showed no interest in buying. Go ahead and show me that some specific media I've searched for that is not already in my library is available for rent/purchase/streaming with another service.


Like to hope Plex Pass will allow disabling of any ads


Well what should we use next after Plex flops?


[Jellyfin](https://jellyfin.org/) is pretty good, and continues to improve.


That is not going to happen. Apple tried it with Apple TV and they couldn’t get Netflix onboard


Amazon app sucks, most of the others are barely tolerable. I recently got AnyStream and have been downloading a few shows so I can watch them using the Plex interface.


I'm completely uninterested


People that want to "take control" and "Control your media destiny!" (marketing directly from plex's website) shouldn't be interested. We have our own servers to curate our own content. Plex has lost its way. It would be great if Roku stepped up and made a replacement media server, they make the best plex compatible hardware anyway.


None of plex hosted content ever touches your server. You're confusing Plex accounts with Plex servers.


This tired old argument again. Plex doesn't release numbers but I'm willing to bet a steak dinner that if they did we would see that 99% of users came from private servers. So Plex accounts only exist because of servers like mine. Therefore if Plex owns the accounts and injects themseleves between me and them with their content while advertising that I can "take control" then plex is just a HUGE bait and switch to get 'their users'.


If you want to micro-manage your users then create managed user. Just because someone is part of your Facebook group does not mean you have total control of their whole account, they can subscribe to whatever servers they like including Plex servers. They can also disable those servers in 3 clicks. I have my own server and have several others servers shared with me. I even use Plex free services occasionally.


Like others said, as long as I can turn off the other stupid shit and just see my own media then I really don't care what they do. So far that's still possible. There are probably some users (especially those that just use others' servers and don't run their own) that actually appreciate the other aggregation they're doing. I suspect that Plex folks know they'll invite a huge backlash if they push that aggregation to the point where the traditional users can't avoid seeing it. And I suspect they'll cross that line eventually because they want more money. When they do, I'll move on along with everyone else.


i wish there was a way to opt out of all the streaming shit... i just want it to catalog my movie/tv collection.


I would like to be able to opt out on the server side. That way I can co troll the menu of every user/tv from my PC and not have to do so in every room or explain it to every user.


There's multiple ways. You can turn it off account wide in your settings. You can turn it off on each device by unpinning the Plex stuff. I take it you want an option to opt out of all future things too, automatically? As otherwise there already is opt outs.


It depends, do I have too? If not, then idgaf. If they are going to plaster full of ads and search results and such, then no. It already confuses people when they search for a movie, don't realize it's offered by Plex and not me, and then have to watch ads. If it ends up searching through streaming services and tries to get me/them to sign up, I'm done. I already hate that it prioritizes their version of a movie/tv show over the one I have on my own server.


>It already confuses people when they search for a movie, don't realize it's offered by Plex and not me, and then have to watch ads. You can now disable that though, just exclude it from everyone's homescreen and search results in your library settings. This functionality was added in a recent update.


So it's either all or nothing? A few people watch stuff from plex so I don't want to remove it, I just don't want it prioritized over my own content. I could see doing that for people who don't have Plex pass and are using it for free, but I'd prefer, specially on my own network, to stream my copy that is ad free. Usually I have to scroll through a few Plex offered options to get to mine.


No no, it's on a per-user basis. The annoying part is each user would have to do it themselves (i.e. getting rid of the Plex movies & TV ad-supported versions). But after they've done it once they're all set. As for your own network, if you mean managed Home users, you can exclude it from your end.


An idea I stole from another user here that was really helpful....When I get someone started on Plex, I just create their account on a temporary email with a simple password, then set it up and disable Plex content, change the email to their actual email and tell them to change the password. No problems so far.


I feel like this reasoning (which is common so not blaming you) is blaming plex for the issues of your users. 1. it's not plex's fault your users are technologically illiterate and you can't explain the difference. People say 'my users dont understand... yada yada'. And I get it, it can be annoying to explain the difference. But you get a good schpeel like, oh this is my stuff, no ads. and this is their stuff ads. If they still don't get it, turn it off. The frustration is with the users not Plex. 2. "beggars can't be choosers". For the most part, I see people offer server access for free to family and friends. So whenever i see ppl complain that their users complain about seeing ads. It's like, well you're getting content for free so zip it. Again, totally get its annoying when things dont work as intended. But again, more of an issue with a user than Plex. And of course you could say that like "software should be user-designed." Yes it should be. for it's target market. This person isn't their target.


There is no reason that in a search result if I search movie "ABC" that the copy on my server shows up so far down on the list you have to scroll to find it. User error or not, that is disgusting. If I have a copy of it, no one wants to watch it from Plex themselves with ads. Plex has built the search to try and be confusing on purpose to get ad views. There is no other reasoning behind doing it that way.


I think we've seen more personal media improvements from Plex in the past year or so than I ever expected. * Skip intro. * Better collections. * The ability to offer custom recommendations on our users home screens. * The ability to remove things from "Continue watching." * Watch Together. * Plexamp (was floating around in beta for a while before but I think I can count it). * Plex Dash. If you ask me, Plex has been heading in a pretty good direction. I'd include the Downloads refresh in the list above but their pricing model for it still pisses me off a bit as someone who bought a lifetime Plex Pass specifically for Sync and is now losing functionality I paid for. If they want to try to include other streaming services all in the one hub, I'm happy for them to do so. They need money and they've added nothing like that so far that can't be disabled, so I really see no reason to complain. And I think people saying things like "They've lost direction" and "The more time they spend on this, the less they have to work on core features" are just ignoring that we've had more progress with core features this year than in the previous 5.


> I'd include the Downloads refresh in the list above but their pricing model for it still pisses me off a bit as someone who bought a lifetime Plex Pass specifically for Sync and is now losing functionality I paid for. This is seriously the biggest FU to server owners that plex has done. If I could get them to fix one thing it would be this. Give us what we paid for! Don't rename it and then charge us whenever our server has to be moved!


When Apple started focusing on their streaming service they let all the other features atrophy. Those of us who have huge personal libraries were left in the cold. In steps Plex to save the day. Now Plex wants to focus on streaming. I think I see a potential problem.


But Plex seems to have always been a hub for all media, and this addition doesn’t sound like they’re making original content, but rather diving deeper into their mission of a media/content hub.


iTunes was a media hub at one point too! It used to support importing audio and video. It used to have built in support for ripping music CDs and automatically labeling. Support for organizing your own movies and tv shows along side purchased content. Then you could stream your library from other computers on the network with iTunes or AppleTV or sync audio/video to iPods. iTunes starting to depreciate features/abilities is where many of us early Plex users came from.


>iTunes was a media hub at one point too! True, but it was that in an age where streaming was in its infancy and as streaming grew, iTunes' relevance shrank (fewer people using iPods etc) Plex on the other hand was born *because* of all these streaming services, as a way to offer the same experience for local content. I dunno how much of a difference it makes in practical terms, but it's a very different perspective since they weren't just grandfathered into the problem, they were created specifically as a solution *for* this problem.


Plex was first released in 2008. Netflix first started streaming in 2007. Plex forked from xbmc which released for the original Xbox in 2002. Plex was not born because of all these streaming services. Plex came first (except for Netflix, unless you count Kodi).


Point, I got my timeline on Netflix wrong. just grasping at straws of hope hahaha


>iTunes was a media hub at one point too! And one of the worst functioning ones. iTunes is and has always been the worst in my not so humble opinion.


iTunes was great at first, then quickly became okay, then became pretty terrible. It's never been "the worst" though. That is not really any kind of defence, as it *was* pretty terrible. I think you understimate just how shit some media players have been, tohugh.


I was an iPod user since the first iPod came out after winning one online and in my opinion it was a bigger piece of crap then, than it is now. The versions in the meantime didn't make it much better either. So many bugs... I moved to alternative solutions as soon as they became available.


The software behind iTunes wasn't even created by Apple. It was nice early in but then they kept on cramming in more stuff. Then they made us download a shitty U2 album like they were doing us a favor!


You can still do all of those on the newer macOS. The difference between that and the old day of iTunes is that iTunes is now chopped up into three new apps each for music, tv/movies, and podcast, while some features (iPods syncing, library network sharing, etc.) are baked into Finder or the OS itself. You can still put CD, open up the new Music app, and rip/label it, then open up macOS' System Preference and turn on library sharing. Or plug your old iPod and manage it on Finder.


The thing is, I am a self hosted guy. But if I can bring my parents' content to Plex too, as long as self-hosted is unaffected, it's great for me to convince my parents to use Plex a the one stop shop for all my media. I hope this supports YT livestreams!


It's already causing problems. To drive the new strategy they have moved away from a server-centric model to a content-centric one. So, for instance the ability to simply select a server and just look at that server no longer works (I have several servers). Moreover, my family keeps stumbling into plex content and loudly complaining about ads, as they confuse plex's content with mine, no matter how many times I unpin those libraries and explain. Have spun up a jellyfin server to try out. It's early days yet, but so far I'm impressed. Will roll it out to the family in a few weeks and if it passes the WAF test, I may decommission my main plex server in a few months.


Does turning off online content not turn it off for your users? Or that's only for home users?


Only for home users. Others with a Plex account have to turn it off themselves, which can be tricky those who aren’t tech savvy.


^ This is exactly the problem. If a user is invited from my server for their initial user setup they should get an option to "Use server settings as my default" and I as administrator should be able to "Take control" by making sure that my content at least appears first. Not under the more menu.


This is my one issue with it as well. They want to offer extra content? Great. I won't watch it but I'm sure someone will. But make it clear that it's not the same as server content. I too have had occasions where those I share my library to complain about the content only to realise later that it's not actually from my server. Couple that with the different layouts of the plex apps and it gets really hard to explain to them how to reach only my server content instead.


It seems like that's their intention though. They have this massive userbase at their disposal that they want to make money off of by showing them ads but the userbase doesn't actually want to see any of the ad filled content so they have to slowly push the ad filled stuff in with the stuff people do want to see without making it easy to just disable it


That's probably true. I take comfort in the fact that if it goes too far I'll switch to Jellyfin.


Don't get too comfortable, jellyfin has a long way to go in terms of client apps. Ive been running jellyfin on the same server as plex and the web UI is the only smooth client I've used.


Why can’t you just look at a certain server? Do you not have a left sidebar with the libraries from all the servers (and even a home page per server)?


I was gonna try it out but I really don't like how the UI looks


The more time they spend on OTT, the less they have to work on core features.


They have lost direction a while ago with the free streaming and stuff. I only still use it for the interface and ease of use as otherwise I think I'd have switched already by now. As long as they keep the self-hosted part I'll keep using it


>As long as they keep the self-hosted part I'll keep using it My concern is that any contracts involving Netflix or Disney+ will involve the end of such support. Why would they share profits with Plex for people to watch their own local media?


True enough. Unsure as to how it will work out tbh. If it's anything like the Tidal integration, I'm fine with that as both hosted and the Tidal library can co-exist


I'm keeping better track of Jellyfin's development progress than I used to.


I Literally just use plex so I can watch movies and listen to music I got on my pc out in my living room.


My family has always used the Tivos to do the same thing. Even though none of us uses traditional Tivo features or on-unit storage much any more it's still (with pyTivo as a pseudo-server) the easiest most effortless TV/movie client from their perspective. I've tried to wean them onto Plex for years. I mean *many* years. Every time I get their attention onto it a little bit, it seems to degrade and set me back. They look at it lately and basically say to me WTF?


but what about all YoUr UsErS




Or it's people who share with parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, etc. who are not tech savvy at all and call to complain that they are now seeing commercials on your Plex content.


Wasn’t this direction already announced months ago when they were getting investors? Regardless, if it makes it so I don’t have to load 10 different apps just to get to my stuff I’m all for it.


As long as they don’t make watching my own content so complicated I’m fine with the direction.


Can't imagine they are going to be able to capitalize on a program that gives you the ability to store and organize a lot of local "borrowed media" that takes a lot of people away from paid channels like Netflix and Disney +, it's only going to be a matter of time before there is some public outrage about "local media storage" and piracy going together hand in hand, it feels like plex is trying to make it a more legit service. Imagine you download plex and don't have a bunch of media to index... It's basically an unusable program to has no value for most people


They 100% won’t be able to achieve this. No streaming service that people actually use will participate as this means losing control and giving data to a potential competitor. They also don’t have anything to gain. The only thing we can expect are very small and failed streaming services.


This. Streaming services, like all modern web garbage, don't have public APIs. They want their customers locked in with eyes only on them. The idea that any of these companies would allow Plex access to their private APIs so Plex can siphon customer attention away is just insane. It's not ever going to happen and I don't understand how anyone within Plex could think it would be possible.


This is what I was wondering. If Netflix don't even allow the TV app on the Apple TV to have access to what's been watched, what's the chances Plex will be able to convince them to have access to that user data content, when Apple couldn't convince them?


Before plex we had Boxee … i remember when boxee was becoming a threat and then Samsung forced a buying option just to elimine Boxee … I’m afraid same thing can happen to Plex … the streaming services won’t get enough profit if they share the content into a universal host like plex, they need to charge the user the full price of their subscription and rent … I don’t know, I like the idea but it is unclear


Yeah I’m getting major Boxee vibes from plex at the moment. I was one of the suckers who pre-ordered the Boxee box only to have them completely nerf the local library capabilities just before shipping. This isn’t a theoretical threat. Some of us have lived through it previously and been burnt.


i had a boxee box, 2 actually, and really enjoyed it wiht my local media. i don't remember the software being "nerfed". can you help me drum up some memories about what happened?


From memory, which is a little hazy, they buried the local media libraries in a bunch of sub-menus. Looking at a random forum post I found complaining about it, it looks like they hid everything in a “Files” menu and made the entire homepage all about shitty streaming media instead. It was a whole big thing at the time and a load of people cancelled their pre-orders (including me) and those that pre-ordered and received it complained that it was a bait and switch because they ordered the box as a local media player but ended up with a streaming box, and not a very good one. This is one of the discussions I found: https://empegbbs.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/344194/2 The Boxee forums, which would have been the main place for complaints, are long gone unfortunately. It still had a super interesting industrial design though. I kind of want one just as an object.


I had 2 boxes box , also a of running s boxee media server … it was nice, then I used Plexee in the boxee to stream using the earlier versions of plex media server …. Also bought the Boxee Tv or something like and it was a shit - buggy, crashed all the time , it cannot processed some media types formerly supported by boxee box … then Samsung bought the company and shut it down immediately. Some former programmers build Boxee hack to keep alive the box but when it came the updates about internet protocols, the box didn’t get the right updates and became useless - I’d use it for streaming my local media and what’s YouTube and Netflix… it was nice until it wasn’t


You go to a little restaurant because they have 3-4 things you really like. They expand, get bigger, you have to hunt a bit to find your favorites on the new complicated menu. Then they drop one item, later change the recipe on another, then start using obviously less-fresh ingredients on another. Out of habit you stick with them. But eventually you stop going there. The cousin of the original owner has a little restaurant so you try that and it has the same things you liked; it's decent. A year an a half later you read the original restaurant went out of business. Why the pattern? I think it has to do with Original Sin.


You are missing a big part of that story. Before the restaurant went out of business, the people on top made a killing by selling to Applebees.


SMH, did you forget about the part that the restaurant wasnt making enough money to stay afloat serving only three dishes, and the majority of customers were non paying. Or the fact that the restaurant never got rid of the other things on the menu, and gave you the option to hide the things you do not want to see on your menu?


End result is the same. The simple fact is Plex has a retarded business model. They're trying to transition to something more sustainable at the expense of the original product. Imagine Burger King transitioning their restaurants to car salesrooms, while still grilling burgers in the same space, hoping their food customers will eventually turn into car customers through exposure. Some people might like window shopping for cars while eating fast food, and some people might like eating fast food while car shopping, but most people don't want their Burger to smell like motor oil or their new car smelling like fry oil.


They’re trying to have business model that will allow the company to not fold.


That's a simple P&L exercise that is done by every first year MSA student. Plex is focused on expansion and eventually being acquired, not staying solvent.


I'm not sure it's a problem of the company folding so much as a problem of not getting stinking rich. Either way, same end result. If Plex folds, no more Plex. If they successfully transition to a streaming one-stop-shop, it's not Plex anymore, so no more Plex. I haven't seen any concrete evidence that Plex is in financial jeopardy, only hearsay on reddit. Not one peep from official channels.


I think your premise is wrong, if Plex evolves and has more offerings in addition to the main media server offering, it’s still Plex. McDonald’s did not stop being McDonald’s when they started selling more than burgers, Taco Bell didn’t stop being Taco Bell when they expanded to other Tex/mex offerings. Also, Why would Plex Inc let you know about their financial trouble if they were indeed having them? They’re not public and hove no incentive to publicly post any financial information.


Bad analogy too. Plex is a media server company, and it’s adding more media to be served, not a totally different product category.


Plex is a software developer, not a media serving company.


How is plex not making enough money to stay afloat? They only have a few employees (50 max) and very little infrastructure to maintain. Surely there are enough subscribers paying either a montly sub or a lifetime to pay for that?


> Why the pattern? I think it has to do with Original Sin. Can you translate this for not crazy people, please?


While the balance is ok for now; I want them to keep refining how we store, play, organize, and manipulate our personal media. That should always be the focus and that's what many people bought their Plex passes for. I don't mind the dabbling in curating other streaming services as long as it's able to be toggled off, and it doesn't sidetrack development. However the moment they start neglecting the personal media aspect is the day I (and I'm sure many others) will walk. The feature rollouts over the last few months I will say have been quite nice (New downloads that replaces sync, new modern UI, new metadata agents, Smart Curations, adding collections to recommended and Home Screen.), but I'd love to see them double down on the transcoding aspect (getting AV1 support), feature parity (Gaming on all PMS x64 platforms), and filling the holes in their new metadata agents (clickable cast photos with bios, customer cast portraits, better auto collection naming, more consistent anime matching).


>Very soon our customers will be able to discover, organise and enjoy content across all of their streaming services right from their Plex home-page... 1. I'm highly skeptical that Plex will ever pull this off, at least with the likes of Netflix, Disney+ and one or two of the other larger players. There's simply no incentive for them to get into bed with Plex. 2. In the HIGHLY unlikely event that they manage to pull this off, the only incentive I would have to connect my subscriptions to my Plex account would be if Plex were somehow able to deliver programming from Netflix, et al, in superior visual and audio fidelity than the source could. Unless I am misunderstanding what they intend. If Plex is hoping to position itself as a one-stop shop for ALL media streaming services and I could get access to everything for one (reasonable) monthly fee, that would be a more attractive option, but again, what incentive do the other players have to get into bed with Plex? Certainly there are lesser-known services that would benefit from such an arrangement, but you'll have a hard time convincing Disney+ to play ball. Or have I completely failed to understand some aspect of the project?


Trying to be too much. Plex lost its way a while back. They weren't my first media server host, they wont be my last.


Anyone remember Boxee? Used to be some pretty slick media center software to stream your local content, then they got ambitious and started producing their own hardware (D-Link) and started to integrate all kinds of additional content. That's about the time I switched over to Plex. If you don't remember Boxee, well, that's probably why.


yes i had a boxee box for ages, the little remote with a keyboard was ace. But they stopped supporting it and stuff wouldnt play anymore so in the bin she went.


Boxees demise was being bought by samsung and having everything shut down. the boxee box was a fine little piece of hardware. The integration of other media was juse live tv. they started with a tuner add on, then did a cloud DVR and did not do it great, but that didnt affect the core product.


I used it back when it was just an xbmc offshoot and the hardware didn’t exist yet. I think it was Mac OS X only and folk ran it on mac minis. It was a lot like plex back then. The hardware and channel support was obviously a play at getting mainstream corporate backing, just like Plex appears to be doing. They were first bought by dlink who made the hardware. I never bought that since I already had a mac mini, but they soon stopped supporting that to force people over to their hardware. I guess d-link then sold them to samsung? I switched away long before that. All I can tell you is that I see eerie similarities here as plex continues to drive their product away from their core competencies into a wild market where larger firms will pick them apart.


I had it running on windows too before the hardware came out. Dlink never bought them, just manufactured the hardware.


They were my first media player on snow leopard osx


I think Plex stopped listening to their core base long ago; and, now they're just throwing ideas around to stay perceptively "relevant" enough to attract new paid customers. This is typically how products become irrelevant. They're essentially nailing the nails in their own coffin.


I just want them to focus on fixing serious issues and improving existing features as well as adding features that should already exists but for some reason aren't part of Plex at this point. One bug that still hasn't been fixed for at least 2 months now is Plex crashing on the 4K firestick, it feels random when it does it but in a nutshell you play a file, it stutters or freezes then Plex crashes, when it opens again the same file plays without any issues. Playlists and collection are a prime example of a feature that needs improved, specifically they need to remember your position, just like a normal series and they should be added to on-deck/continue watching, this is something that was requested a few years ago, there solution was their "smart" playlist/collection, while useful this doesn't solve these problems, just gives us workaround. Rewatching a series/playlist/collection needs to automatically set every item as unwatched or they need to work on a way to track your position. Services like Netflix and Disney do this automatically, having to mark items as unwatched is such an unnecessary thing.


Agreed, the android app is so buggy I end up having to force quit it multiple times a day. Look at the reviews in the play store and I'm obviously not the only one. Everything works mostly fine in a web browser. A lot of people that I've given accounts to also don't bother because the android app again is a dumpster fire. They really need to slow down with new features and make sure the core app is still stable, and seriously do a bit more bug testing.


comskip is the only thing that keeps me with plex over alternatives like emby… if they make it so all that hosted crap can be completly turned off then ok, but otherwise it is becoming a hot mess of money grabbing content.


i don't get it, my homescreen is my content, i have hidden all the stuff i don't want to see, have you not done the same? what is the complication youre having, maybe people here can help you get your homescreen in a better place?


Same. They eventually made it so you could turn off the extra content but when they first introduced their movie content, you couldnt turn it off from the client. You had to go to their server to do so. They never mentioned that little bit of info anywhere and I only stumbled upon it by chance. Eventually they allowed you to control that locally. This is the kind of thing that slowly takes over. They force you to go to extraordinary efforts to avoid their content by making it default to "on" while making it almost impossible to turn it off.


It could be a good thing but I most likely will be a negative. I am hoping for the best.


I'm all for this. A big part of why I don't use Plex as much as I'd like is because most of the things I want aren't on my server, they're on Netflix, Disney+, etc. But if I was opening the Plex app to get to all of my content? I'd be using and viewing the stuff on my server way more


Good more I can integrate everything in single app the better. BUT! Do not take anything away from local media streaming.. that is the main reason I use plex. Also the moment I will see adds on plex Im switching... I did pay lifetime subscription, so no ads to buy anything else !


The way it seems to be going (which i'm happy with) is an online, software-based chrimecast of some sort It'd make it easier to find out which movies you can watch on which platform and which arent available at all, so you can self-host it


I also really like the customizable part of plex (adding posters, trailers, backgrounds, ...) So if they'd implement a possibility of doing that to my netflix shows or something (though that seems unlikely) that'd be even better


Weaving local and third-party streaming services would be masterful. The diversely involved community and localized content delivery is really what sets plex's platform apart from anything else.


If they can pull it off it will revolutionize the streaming industry, which has been desperately needed. I honestly doubt the streaming platforms are going to cooperate though, there is little to no incentive for them to do this, and if they get to some agreement I doubt it will provide any financial benefit to the consumer what so ever.


If they keep the ability to customize the interface then I can turn the feature off if I don't like it. This would allow me to stay happy. If content suggestions from streaming services that I am not subscribed to appear or ads appear on my home page that I can't turn off then I will be most displeased.


I mean, let's be honest. They have too do this. Self hosted media is probably not the future, especially with steamers that do not release content for individual sale but keep it locked on their service. It is also the exact same goal as Roku, even if only some steamers release their api, some do.


All I want is YouTube integration. Everything else is just something for me to turn off.


As someone that loves the personal library aspect, I actually hope they succeed. I don't know how stable selling lifetime memberships is, and I want to see Plex stick around for a long time. If that means that some attention has to be focused on aspects that aren't cool server features and our personal libraries, then so be it. Assuming we always have a toggle to turn things off of course.


i really dont care. not like im being forced to use the hub stuff, though my wife does like it.


I myself want to see this kind of thing. There are many times I forget about a show I wanted to watch or don’t realize a second season started because I hadn’t opened the app in a while. I want these shows to surface in my continue watching row. I also find management of shows and episodes to suck in most other apps compared to Plex. I mean in Disney plus I accidentally clicked a 7 season show and it started playing S01E01. I didn’t want to watch it but now it’s stuck in my D+ continue watching for the foreseeable future. In Plex I can remove that in seconds. I also manage media for my kids with Plex. I would like if I can do that with some other sources too. I don’t know if Plex would let me choose select shows from Netflix to be accessible to them in Plex but maybe they will be able to support such a feature.


Frankly I just wish, as a lifetime subscriber, that I could hide all of the content not in my server for all of my users. All of this extra BS D list content has definitely kept me away recently. Edit as it turns out I can. That was a simple Toggle.


They really should offer two SKUs: Their current "swiss army knife" app... and one that is focued completely on playing your own content. The way it was years ago. One could easily automate this in a day, so I digress.


As long as I have access to my local library, I love the idea. I just question whether streaming services will play ball.


I like the Linux philosophy of an application doing one thing and doing it very well.


The idea of a central hub for streaming services sounds fantastic if done correctly. Unfortunately I can only see it being a mess and confusing for less tech-savvy end-users. I'll hold my judgement for an official announcement to see how it's being implemented


Apple, Netflix, HBO, Disney and Amazon spend a lot of money on their branding, and do not want Plex to be the face of their content. Plex can expect technical and legal challenges from far bigger and better funded opponents if this is the path they go down. Meanwhile their core (and most evangelical) fan base will become increasingly frustrated with being ignored, and will use this sub to push alternatives.


I want a checkbox to disable it all!


No major streaming service (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, HBO Max) is going to open their walked garden to an aggregator application and lose access to metrics, to ad revenue, to control.


If they can become the singular source to access all your 3rd party streaming services while Not effecting the current local media streaming then I think it’s an excellent direction. If you have Plex along with other services, you would ideally just go to Plex since it will be able to show all the shows from your 3rd party services. I think this will however be easier said than done, since the likelihood of Netflix being ok with customers not using there platform directly is pretty low. But Sonos was some what able to do this with music, so I guess nothing is impossible.


If implemented correctly, it could be a great thing. There's currently no good system to aggregate all of people's content into one seamless location. That said, based on Plex's track record, I don't know that I have much confidence in them implementing it well. So the most I can really hope for is that they don't fuck up local streaming.


Original shield users and other older Android system will just get left in the dust. Our system won't be able to keep up or won't get updated kids like the older Roku players that became door stops.


why will this happen?


Switching to jellyfin as soon as I get my.new server built. Plex's nail in the coffin was when they removed the local media from the main screen and stuck that free crap in there, forcing everyone to go to "more" for my server. No thanks.




Yes but they can still pin your local server and unpin free content. Good luck with jellyfin.


this is a wildly misleading statement... it was never removed, and you can easily move your stuff to the homescreen, and put the plex stuff behind the "more" button.


The default layout is counter intuitive towards the product's original intent.


That’s a different story than saying they did things that they did not do.


My statement still stands and is fully accurate. They went from a home and remote streaming system to a third party content delivery system on the default home screen. When I allow access to friends and parents, they're stuck pinning and in pinning stuff and generally getting lost at which point I have to call them and walk them through it or just have them give up.


I hear you, and I suggest writing up a document to send to new people you share with giving them info on exactly what you outlined above. One time write up with screen shots and detailed steps will get rid of the need to explain individually.




youre right, we remember


Welcome to the end of Plex. It may take awhile yet, but the association that they have with Piracy due to their moronic focus on non-lan streaming can only result in one of two scenarios. #1 They get nuked by one of the "big guys," Say Disney for example. Or #2 they have to drastically cut functionality as they become more mainstream. Personally I'm hoping they go with #2 (cutting the problematic internet streaming features entirely).


They ought to devote their development resources to improving Plex instead of adding features nobody is asking for. For example, both my Plex server and client are h265 capable, so why is it still using h264?


Here comes the advertising.


As long as I can hide it, unpin it, disable it. I don’t care. But give me per user individual remote quality control. Please.


Just allow as to edit actors profiles and allow us to click on those to show all their show all their work in each library.


When Apple announced their appletv app they said they would integrate all the streaming services so you could always know what was new and where you left off no matter which device you were on. And then, in practice, they never integrated Netflix (presumably for business reasons) or Plex (for, well, you know). If Plex steps up and actually accomplished what Apple set out to do but couldn’t, it would be a huge value to us users. Just don’t fuck with my own PMS functionality abd we’re good.


They never integrated Netflix because Netflix won’t allow it, and they can’t integrate your PMS content because Plex doesn’t know what you have on your server. The AppleTV app integration works flawlessly for everything else, and it’s pretty amazing in use.


please don't get me wrong, what the AppleTV App does IS pretty impressive but imagine how much better it would be if it actually did include your PMS library and, potentially, Netflix's catalog too? that's what i'm hoping Plex is cooking up for us.


Right, but if Netflix won’t let Apple access their APIs to do library searching, pull recently watched data l, etc., there’s no way they would let Plex access it either. Plex will wind up having the same streaming services as AppleTV, but will add your PMS library. That will still be awesome, and excites me. I guess I just like the AppleTV UI better, and wish they could display my PMS media info even though I know that’s literally impossible.


I believe it was Netflix that decided not to integrate, and like you said its probably a business reason. Plex allows streaming content into the AppleTV app, but not local content (https://www.macrumors.com/2021/03/04/plex-tv-app-integration/). But the AppleTV app is mainly streaming, not for accessing local content, so I see why Plex's local content isn't added to it. If I wanted to access my local iTunes/Movie content I need to go into a separate app as well just like with Plex.


Not worried about anything until I see how it works. So far all online content has been left to the user to use it or not. If they change that maybe I worry.


I keep Kodi as a backup


I think it would be very cool. I also don't think it's possible on any level and it's a total pipe dream used to drum up investment money. I'll believe it when I see it.


wouldn't there be a way to force stop updates and just stick to the current library status? as long as I don't add new formats, couldn't I just "freeze" the my library indefinitely?


Seems delusional that a tool intended to facilitate piracy can be adapted to assist with legitimate purchases. Entirely different crowd.


Well to be fair, they have already signed agreements for ad supported streaming, so purchasing isn’t a huge stretch. And I’m reminded of Gabe Newells quote with regard to game piracy: ‘Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem.’ So if they do it well - and by well I mean without DRM - then it could take off. But if there’s any form of DRM involved, I feel it’ll never get off the ground and don’t understand why they would even bother trying.


Given how well their Arcade launch went, this only adds another layer of scepticism.


Yeah seriously, the arcade thing completely bombed from what I can see.


If there’s a sniff of interest from any major media conglomerate in purchasing the company or a considerable percentage then I’ll have to call it day and finally move over to Jellyfin.


Getting bought out is clearly the endgame.


I think the days of singular apps for singular tasks are numbered. We'll see more hub-type apps and I welcome that. Here's hoping they will broker a deal for plex pass holders to bundle some of these subscriptions into one. Currently you can easily kill £100+ a month with a few of these streaming providers and its getting a bit silly the amount of them that want your money for the one or two shows you actually watch...


I don't really use other streaming services, so I'd really rather they double down on the features and functionality related to playing local content over getting in bed with the Netflix's and Disney+'s that would sooner get rid of my local content altogether. Though as others have said I'm not sure why Netflix or Disney do this deal. The paranoid part of me thinks maybe they want to make just enough waves with these big companies to get bought out and dissolved lol.


This is really great move if Plex can do it without changing existing freedom in media.👍


One word: T-Vision


I don't like the approach of having one bloated app. I already have apps for all my streaming service. The homepage where I see all of them is the homepage of my device.


As long as they don't ad it up like Google did on the Shield home screen interface, and let me truly decide which content I see, I'm fine.


Them and everyone else. I mostly use Plex (NAS Plex server) on my PC via a third screen while doing other things (working). But using it I noticed on my TV via a firestick that Amazon is also streaming live (commercial) TV. As is my Samsung phone and I thing Roku. I figure there must be some "new?" standard for reporting views that allows broadcasters to get credit/payed for the commercials.


I'm a Senior Product Manager when I'm not streaming Clone Wars off my Plex, so I can perhaps give a little insight into what might be behind these sorts of decisions. A Product Manager is always balancing a flood of input to produce a product roadmap that maximizes the value of the product for customers. Fundamentally the job is about prioritizing. You use (hopefully) real customer engagement to do that. Surveys, observing actual users using the product, remote telemetry and usage data, plus anything else you can get your hands on to gain insight into what and how users actually use your product. And talking to them about what improvements they'd like, but also what related pain-points they have that we might be able to solve. But customer's needs aren't the only thing you go on. If Henry Ford had built what people wanted, he'd have ended up making a faster horse. Sometimes you actually know better--your perspective on the user base and the industry and the competition shows you that there's something you could build that nobody KNOWS they wants, but that would be much more valuable than the things they think or say that they want. And sometimes business demands force themselves to the front of the line. Say for instance your video hosting and management platform promised investors a set of revolutionary streaming features. Hopefully that was a product-driven roadmap decision (i.e. derived from actual evidence that it would be valuable for customers), but maybe it was just that the boss thought it sounded cool and so said it. Or, maybe a competitor is leveraging an ability your product doesn't have to creep into competition on your core feature set. In either case, delivering on that thing suddenly becomes very important. Given that the feedback here is almost universally negative, it's doubtful this feature set arose from customer interactions. So it's either Plex legitimately knowing better than its users, or an initiative being imposed by business demands.


Don't care, as long as they don't screw up a good thing. So far, they've let me hide all of the garbage that they keep trying to inflict. Except the home screen. Why-oh-why won't they let me get rid of the useless home screen?


I think Plex will move in a different direction in a few years. The legacy client we have now will be forked into a new type of product that will have further support. The legacy client will most likely stop being supported at some point thus not actually violating the "lifetime" subscription model.


It feels like an act of desperation. The big players like Netflix, Hulu, HBOMax, Disney, etc would never allow a small company like Plex to access their content and remove the control they have over their users accessing content via their official apps. If anything, the industry is moving in the opposite direction with content owners removing their content from aggregators like Hulu and Netflix in favor of their own apps like Peacock and HBOMax.


The direction they're heading is what made me switch to Jellyfin last year. You could clearly see how they were focusing more on third party stuff vs self hosting so I jumped ship and couldn't be happier. I liked Plex for what it was, but not what it was turning into.


I can't say I'm excited about it. I'm not looking for an app to consolidate my streaming services together; to me that detracts from Plex's purpose. I just want it to serve my videos and tv wherever I go. The more they tack on that doesn't do that, the closer I get to alternatives. If I want to watch Netflix, I'll just hop over to Netflix. But I'm likely over simplifying what they have planned so hopefully it'll be compelling unlike the video game service or Tidal.


All the best to them for trying! As long as they don't start advertising other streaming services everywhere, and give you the option to separate your local media from the streaming hub (so that if you don't like it you can do this to essentially disable it). The Plex devs seem to prioritise their community and the genuine betterment of their app(s) over everything else (a rare and much appreciated quality) so I'm not too worried.


I could say that I don't care if that does not impact the core of home hosting feature but since they removed plugins support, i m not in line with the direction of plex. I want something with more customisation available, not less.


Personally, I would rather they, work harder at communication and support, There's a growing number of issues on the Plex forums that have been ongoing for a long time (Including on I and a few others have had for over 5 months now) They keep adding things to Plex but at the same time don't test it long enough or listen to feedback from beta channels and end up pushing out bad builds, to the point that this year alone 3 builds have been pulled do to problems, 6 times rushed builds have been pushed out to fix a problem with a previous build, and beta builds seem to get pushed to public far far to quick.


I mean if they keep all the good things about plex and add this feature while maintaining a level of privacy, I would LOVE it. My dream would be to only need to open plex to watch anything.


I worry that taking on more "legitimate" media will give those companies more say in how Plex is run over time. I don't think it's a good direction to go for the current users and their use cases. But Plex is for profit, so im not sure what else they can do.


As a server owner with a growing number of users, if it confuses users to where they ask me a bunch of questions, I’m out. I’ll migrate everyone to Emby even if it means losing users.


if plex decide to make me pay to stream then i’m out.