Plex to Launch New TV and Movie Rental Services in Upcoming Month

Media streamer Plex’s long-delayed plans to launch a marketplace for TV and movie rentals are finally being realized after multiple false starts. The media startup originally announced its plan to expand its streaming service to include rentals just ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic, which impacted launch plans alongside other technical concerns. Then, at CES a year ago, Plex said the rentals market was due for a second-quarter launch. With those headaches behind it, the rentals service is finally nearing launch — for real this time, Plex says. In addition to the TVOD store, the report noted Plex’s plans for the year ahead included a redesign and additional social features, too.

Plex’s Media Marketplace Launch Plans Confirmed

Media Streamer Plex’s Marketplace for Rentals Finally Coming to Life

After multiple setbacks and delays, the highly anticipated marketplace for TV and movie rentals by media streamer Plex is finally becoming a reality. The company had originally announced its plans to expand its streaming service with rentals just before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, causing launch delays and technical hurdles. However, a year ago at CES, Plex revealed plans for a second-quarter launch of the marketplace. Unfortunately, that timeframe was also missed, leading to further delays and speculation.

But now, Plex has confirmed a report by Janko Roettgers, who recently revealed in an exclusive article that the TV and movie store will officially debut next month. Roettgers had chatted with Plex execs at CES, gathering insider details about the long-awaited project.

A representative from Plex verified the accuracy of Roettgers’ scoop in an interview with TechCrunch. However, the representative also mentioned that the report lacked specific information such as the titles of shows and the partners involved in the launch. Additionally, the exact release date has not been made public yet. However, the report indicated that Plex has secured partnerships with “most studios” and plans to add more over time.

The media software maker has been planning to enter the TVOD (transactional video on demand) market for some time now, as a way to supplement its current revenue streams from ad-supported streaming. The marketplace, once launched, will allow Plex users to access a variety of movies and TV shows for on-demand viewing, making it a convenient one-stop-shop for all media content.

Plex had previously acknowledged that technical issues were a major hurdle in its progress toward the TVOD launch. It had faced challenges with getting DRM (digital rights management) to function properly, causing a switch to alternative providers. Additionally, securing approval from studios had also proven to be a delay, as well as transitioning to a new third-party partner for its AVOD (ad-supported video on demand) service. Progress was further hindered by an unrelated technical bug that caused streams to randomly stop on Android TV, Fire TV, and Android mobile platforms.

However, with these issues resolved, the rentals service is now finally on the brink of release, with Plex assuring that this time it is for real. More details about the marketplace are expected to be revealed next month.

Besides the TVOD store, Roettgers’ report also highlighted Plex’s plans for the year ahead, including a redesign and the addition of social features.

“Plex aims to be a one-stop-shop for all your media needs, and we’re excited to finally launch our long-awaited rentals marketplace next month,” stated a representative from Plex.

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Kira Kim

Kira Kim is a science journalist with a background in biology and a passion for environmental issues. She is known for her clear and concise writing, as well as her ability to bring complex scientific concepts to life for a general audience.

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