Plex, known for its media server software and as a place to watch ad-supported content, is going to launch a store for to buy and rent movies and TV shows in early February, executives told Lowpass’ Janko Roettgers.
“Most studios” are lined up for the store’s launch, and there are “plans to complete the catalog soon after,” Roettgers says. The store will also integrate with Plex features like its watchlists for movies. Roettgers points out that that Plex has announced plans in both 2020 and 2023 to launch a movie / TV store — hopefully Plex is truly ready to do so this time.
The new store will mark a major addition for Plex, especially following the company’s layoff of 20 percent of its staff in June 2023. At the time, the company’s CEO told staffers that Plex’s ad business had been “significantly impacted” by a downturn in global advertising markets, but chief product officer Scott Olechowski told Roettgers that its ad business is growing.
There are more changes coming to Plex down the line, Roettgers reports. Olechowski said that the company has a “pretty major UX refresh” in the works to help support the many people using Plex to watch ad-supported movies and TV shows and FAST (free, ad-supported streaming) channels.
Plex is also planning to add more social features like public profiles this year — even after concerns popped up about its activity sharing feature late last year. (Roettgers says that Plex updated some of the feature’s onboarding processes, and Plex senior product and design director Jason Williams told him that the backlash “kind of vanished pretty quickly afterwards.”)