Plex Adds CTV Search Engine to Ease Streaming Frustration

Dan Meier 06 April, 2022 

Streaming service Plex today announced it has added an aggregation section to its platform, allowing viewers to search across all their subscriptions on the same app.

The Discover function collates titles from the likes of Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max, as well as personal media libraries, enabling users to view and access all the content available to them without having to jump between platforms.

Currently running as a publicly available Beta mode, the discovery features include combined watchlists, centralised search tools and notifications for upcoming releases. “As of today, Plex searches, personalises and organises all of your content, no matter where that content lives,” Plex announced in a blog post.

“Instead of a watchlist on your HBO Max account and your Amazon Prime service and your FXNow service, you just add it all to your Plex Watchlist,” the company explained, noting that upcoming theatrical releases can also be added. “You’ll be able to keep tabs on when it’s in theatres, when it’s available to rent, and when it’s available to view on any of your services.”

See you later, aggregator

The launch stems from long-running discussions in the streaming sector around consumer appetite for content aggregation. In the blog post entitled “Kiss the streaming struggle goodbye with Plex”, the company cited studies by Accenture and Horowitz into US streaming habits; viewers spend a collective 600 million minutes each night trying to choose what to watch, while 44 percent of audiences fail to find anything at all.

The Accenture report from January 2022 found that 56 percent of streaming customers “wish their profile from one service could easily be shared with another service that may offer them better, more personalised content.” Plex said it seeks to address those frustrations, “even if it means sending you to one of our many well-funded competitors.”

This development follows similar offerings from startups Struum and Oneflix, which combine access to multiple streaming services. Reports last year suggested that Google Chrome’s proposed aggregator Kaleidoscope has been abandoned.

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