If you’ve ever asked a family member ‘what you wanna watch? it usually commences about 45 minutes of jumping from streaming service to streaming service, while one of your people endlessly scans menus.
By the time something all parties can agree on has been selected, you’ve decided there’s not enough time to watch a film before bed, so you just stick The Office on for the umpteenth night in succession. Plex reckons Americans spend 600 million hours a night trying to decide what to watch, for heaven’s sake.
Now the developer of the popular media server is aiming to solve what it calls ‘the streaming struggle’ with a new Discovery section that unites content from all of the services you’re subscribed to; be that Apple TV+, Netflix, Disney Plus, Prime Video and other apps specific to your location.
The new tab is available across all Plex platforms from today, allowing you to build a master watch list (main image), see dedicated recommendations from across all apps, or menus like “Trending on your services” and “top titles on other services”. Searches are also universal. As the company says, it’s not where you watch, it’s what you watch.
In a blog post announcing the new feature as a publicly available beta, the company wrote: “As of today, Plex searches, personalises, and organises all of your content, no matter where that content lives. Now, when you log in on any of our major platforms, including Roku, Apple TV+, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, iOS and Android mobile devices, smart TVs, game consoles, and the web app, you’ll get a new welcome screen that will invite you to customize your preferences.
“A whole new world of daily discoveries will greet you from your home screen. See what’s new and trending from all of your selected services plus personal media libraries that you access — in one streamlined view. Browse curated recommendations, watch trailers for new releases — all from the comfort of your Plex app.”
It’s quite similar to what the Apple TV app has done with certain elements of its presentation. There’s a master ‘Up Next’ queue and ‘Continue Watching’ interface and universal search, but it’s not quite as all encompassing as what Plex is serving up today. You don’t even need to be a Plex Plus subscriber to access this.