Plex rolls out ad-supported news channel

The launch of Plex News comes a few months after Plex announced the addition of live TV and DVR for its Plex Pass platform.
(Plex)

Plex is launching Plex News, a personalized, ad-supported news channel that gathers content from sources including CBS News, CNN, Hearst, Scripps, Tribune Media and Cheddar.

Plex News is available for free to Plex users regardless if they’ve set up a Plex Media Server. New users need to sign up for Plex and download the apps they want. Plex News is supported on Android TV, Apple TV, Roku, Android Mobile, and iOS.

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Besides pulling together news from more than 190 global publishing partners, Plex says its News feature also bakes in artificial intelligence to learn what users like and serve more of it. That AI technology was part of the reason Plex back in February acquired Watchup.

“[Watchup has] a bunch of cool machine learning and artificial intelligence stuff that helps us personalize and get better at getting people what they want,” said Plex CEO Keith Valory.

The launch of Plex News comes a few months after Plex announced the addition of live TV and DVR for its Plex Pass platform. Plex’s live TV uses a tuner and an antenna to pull in nearby broadcast signals and then integrates that content on the Plex platform along with services including the new Plex News and various SVODs.

“Plex News is especially exciting to us because it follows a progression we started with Live TV and DVR where we’re bringing you great media from outside your library in a way which integrates seamlessly and beautifully,” the company wrote in a blog post.

In addition to live TV and DVR, the Plex Pass subscription includes Plex Cloud, offline playback, enhanced music features and automatic photo-tagging. The service is priced is $4.99 a month, $39.99 a year or $119.99 for a lifetime pass.