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Plex will add subscription channels to its platform this year

This story is part of our continuing coverage of CES 2020, including tech and gadgets from the showroom floor.

Video streaming service Plex reportedly plans to add subscription channels to its platform sometime in 2020. 

TechCrunch reports that 15 to 20 subscription video-on-demand channels would be added to the platform. There aren’t many details about what channels those would include, but TechCrunch said that HBO and Showtime are likely possibilities. 

Aside from subscription channels, Plex is also reportedly looking to add a marketplace feature so users can individually buy or rent the specific content that they want to watch.

“Through the process of doing these deals with the AVOD [ad-supported video on demand] partners — [we found] a lot of those same companies have their own SVOD [subscription video on demand] channels they would like to deliver through us, or have a strong desire to have their content included in some types of either linear or SVOD bundles,” Plex CEO Keith Valory told TechCrunch at CES.

Digital Trends reached out to Plex to find out more about the subscription channels and rentals, as well as when the features would officially debut on the platform. We will update this story once we hear back.

Last month, Plex launched its free, ad-supported video streaming service in more than 200 countries that can be streamed on any device. So far, Plex’s streaming service includes content partners like MGM, Lionsgate, and Warner Bros., and it’s adding more studios to the list. 

The free streaming experience on Plex is something of a departure for the company, which has traditionally focused on helping people organize and watch their collection of privately owned movies, shows, music, and photos.

However, Plex’s moves into streaming and subscription channels mirror what the rest of the media world is doing. Premium content is becoming more valuable than regular cable TV, which is evident in the number of streaming services available now. 

More and more people are moving away from watching cable and are opting for subscription services/channels instead. HBO Max and NBC’s Peacock are set to debut this spring and will join popular competitors like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and the newly unveiled Apple TV+ and Disney+. 

Follow our live blog for more CES news and announcements.

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