Plex Channels used to give the media server a very nice dynamic to go along with its incredible ability to organize personal media. The channels though, were not officially supported regulated. So despite their usefulness over time they were fazed out. Last week Plex launched its first new channel since the original ones went by the wayside.
The first new Plex Channel is Crackle. The new Plex channel allows users to access movies and TV shows from the free ad-supported platform via a Plex interface that links all of the content together with Plex’s own free content offering. While this is the first one here is what we would like to see from Plex as far as new Plex channels in the future.
Most of these ideas would be dependant on a lot of other deals being worked out. So this is a wish list and not a preview.
A Plex Premium Service channel Sign up
Three of the major streaming platforms offer a way to sign up for streaming services. Amazon Fire OS, Roku and Apple TV all offer users a way to sign up for streaming services like HBO Now, and many others. If Plex were to find a way to do the same thing within its platform it would provide a revenue stream and give people more reason to use the app. Especially on Android devices. Adterwards a way to offer those services within Plex and integrate their content would be huge. Apple TV is the only service that produces an on-demand menu with content from across multiple apps. With such a set up Plex could allow any device with a Plex app to do the same.
One of the hottest properties in the AVOD business is Tubi. The service was recently purchased by FOX and has been gaining viewers at a breakneck pace for a few years. Like Crackle, Tubi TV offers all of its content for free. There is a lot to discover on the service that would add a lot to the Plex experience. Further integration of the libraries would keep people in Plex for a long time.
If Plex is able to integrate premium services than Hulu should be one of the first things it adds. It has surged in popularity over the past year and has fully established itself as one of the big players in the streaming world. It’s blend of movies and expansive TV library are unmatched. It is a can’t miss channel.
You can’t start talking about streaming without talking about Netflix. The app is so ubiquitous finding a way to get the company to agree to be built into a branded situation may not happen. Netflix and Plex would likely have to find a way to integrate a Netflix branded app into its framework.
Yes, Plex offers an OTA DVR already. But that is dependent on the ability to receive dependable signals from an antenna. Meanwhile there are OTA networks who have been launching streaming versions of their TV feeds. Some notable ones are BZZR, the retro game show network, Comet, the OTA science fiction channel and Stadium, an OTA sports channel. There are others we didn’t list and there will be more on the way.
Plex users can set up Plex to access and organize their digital media. In fact, that is its original core function. But in order to get their content onto Plex it must be added to a server by either burning the content in or importing it digitally. What if there was a way to just purchase a movie and automatically save it to your own Plex server? It could be a match made in heaven. Fandango would be a good partner to work with on something like this because unlike iTunes or Google Play, it does not have anything to lose by working with another party.
There was a time when the CW channel for Plex was the only way to watch CW content on Android TV devices like the NVIDIA Shield. The unofficial app did a bang up job. But there is still not an easy way to access CW on the numerous Android boxes without the official Android TV platform. A CW channel that both provided content in its own world and integrated episodes of the numerous popular shows in with Plex’s existing movie and TV apps would be very helpful.
Shout Factory TV
Shout Factory TV is one of the best free cult movie and TV show offerings available. It is the digital home of MSTK 3000 and Rifftracks. It has a collection of movies from Elvira, a forgotten sketch show “The Best of Fridays” and a sea of content to get lost in. Shout Factory also includes two 24-hour feeds.
Let’s face it. People love watching other people wipe out. That’s what Fail army is all about. People making mistakes on camera and going viral helped make YouTube into a behemoth. I swear, once you start watching you almost can’t stop.
TV Network Apps
The major Broadcast TV networks offer apps so that viewers can keep up with favorite shows on-demand. Integrating this kind of content would be a great thing for Plex and its users.