Plex (company)

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Logo used since April 28, 2022.[1]
Logo used since April 28, 2022.[1]
Developer(s)Plex, Inc.
Initial release2008; 14 years ago (2008)
Stable release
Server: (May 24, 2022; 4 months ago (2022-05-24)[2]) [±]
Operating system
Platformx86, ARM
Available in43 (server) languages[3]
TypeMedia server and player

Plex is an American streaming media service and a client–server media player platform, made by Plex, Inc. The Plex Media Server organizes video, audio, and photos from a user's collections and from online services, and streams it to the players. The official clients and unofficial third-party clients run on mobile devices, smart TVs, streaming boxes, and in web apps.


Plex logo from 2013 to April 27, 2022. It was still used on the Media Server browser interface until early August of the same year.

Plex began as a freeware hobby project in December 2007 when developer Elan Feingold created a media center application for his Apple Mac. He ported the media player XBMC (since renamed Kodi) to Mac OS X.[4] Around the same time, Cayce Ullman and Scott Olechowski—software executives who had recently sold their previous company to Cisco—were also looking to port XBMC to OS X, and noticed Feingold's progress via XBMC online forums. They contacted him and offered support and funding, forming a three-person team in January 2008.[5][6]

The team released early versions of the port, called OSXBMC,[7] intended for eventual full integration into Mac OS X.[4] The developers continued collaborating with the Linux-based XBMC project until May 21, 2008. Due to different goals and vision from the XBMC team, they soon forked the code to become Plex, and published it on GitHub. The OSXBMC code was kept roughly in sync with the upstream XBMC code.[8]

In December 2009, the US-based Plex, Inc. was founded with Ullman as CEO and Feingold as CTO.[9][10][11][12] At that time, Plex had 130 apps, the most popular of which were viewers for Apple Movies Trailers, YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, MTV Music Videos, BBC iPlayer, and Vimeo. Feingold declared Plex apps had been downloaded about one million times.[7][13] As of July 2016, Plex had 65 employees.[14] In December 2019, Plex, Inc. announced ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) of TV shows and movies available globally to free Plex accounts, from publishers including Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, MGM, Lionsgate, and Legendary.[15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22] As of August 2019, it had about 100 global employees.[23]


Plex Web App: Users can manage their libraries, server settings, and watch content from this browser-based interface.

Plex is a media player system with a client–server model. Plex Media Server stores, organizes, and streams all content, while the clients are the playback applications running on myriad devices and web browsers.[24][25]

Plex Media Server (PMS)[26] is the back-end component, free of charge. It can acquire content from files, iTunes, iPhoto, Aperture, or the Internet,[27][28][29] and automatically organize them by metadata tags[30][31] such as title, artist, album, genre, year, and popularity.[32] It organizes audio and visual content from personal media libraries and streams it to the player, either on the same device or over a network. PMS can run on Windows, macOS, Linux, FreeBSD, NAS devices, or on Nvidia Shield TV.[33]

The front-end player apps are Plex, Plex Web App,[34] Plexamp, and Plex Dash.[35] They allow the user to manage and play all content from the Plex Media Server. Most apps are free of charge. The Plex app is the successor to the Plex Media Player, and runs on a multitude of platforms: Amazon Appstore, Android, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, Roku, iOS, PlayStation, Sonos, Oculus Go, webOS, Tizen, Windows, Xbox, and macOS.


Free Plex accounts can share personal media libraries among a user's own collection of devices or to friends, and access Plex, Inc.'s content library of ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) and free-to-stream live TV channels.[36] The publishing partners have included Tidal,[37] Warner Bros. Television Studios,[38] MGM, Lionsgate, Legendary, Crackle, Endemol Shine.[39] Plex Pass is the optional paid-subscription service including mobile synchronization, metadata fetching for music, multi-user support, parental controls, OTA live TV and DVR, trailers, extras, and cross-selling offers.[40]

Timeline of updates and major events[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New Logo, Same Plex". Plex. April 28, 2022. Retrieved May 2, 2022.
  2. ^ "version". Plex, Inc. 2022-05-24. Retrieved 2022-05-24.
  3. ^ "PlexMediaServer Translations - Get Localization". Archived from the original on October 8, 2014. Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Interview with the OSXBMC Developers – Automated Home". April 29, 2008. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  5. ^ "Behind the App: The Story of Plex". Lifehacker. Retrieved March 20, 2021.
  6. ^ "Scott Olechowski Inventions, Patents and Patent Applications - Justia Patents Search". Retrieved March 20, 2021.
  7. ^ a b "CrunchGear Interview: We talk to the lead developer of Plex Media Center for Mac OS X: It was doing Boxee-like stuff before Boxee was cool". January 15, 2010. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
  8. ^ "XBMC for Mac forked for a separate project called PLEX (formerly known as "OSXBMC")". May 23, 2008. Archived from the original on August 21, 2009. Retrieved March 13, 2009.
  9. ^ Stephen, Bijan (July 23, 2019). "Plex makes piracy just another streaming service". The Verge. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  10. ^ "Plex, Inc. Company Profile - Bloomberg Markets". Bloomberg.
  11. ^ "Happy Holidays from Plex! – Plex". December 24, 2010. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  12. ^ "Laika Revealed – Plex". October 28, 2011. Retrieved July 8, 2016.
  13. ^ Anderson, Kevin (October 7, 2009). "Thinking inside the box". Guardian.
  14. ^ "About Plex – Media Server – Media Streaming Server". Retrieved July 8, 2016.
  15. ^ Salkowitz, Rob. "With Warner Bros Partnership, Plex Looks To Flex Its Media Muscles". Forbes. Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  16. ^ "Plex partners with Lionsgate to expand its ad-supported video library". TechCrunch. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  17. ^ "Plex Is Making Itself Impossible to Ignore as a Go-To Streaming Service". Gizmodo. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  18. ^ "The best ways to legally stream movies and TV for free". Popular Science. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  19. ^ Hern, Alex (March 23, 2020). "10 streaming services to help get you through self-isolation". Newsweek. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  20. ^ Ricker, Thomas (November 29, 2018). "Plex now streams cheap Tidal music subscriptions". The Verge. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  21. ^ "Plex will stream free, ad-supported Warner Bros. movies and TV shows". Engadget. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  22. ^ Roettgers, Janko (August 29, 2019). "Inside Plex's Quest to Become a One-Stop Shop for Digital Media". Variety. Retrieved November 18, 2019.
  23. ^ Roettgers, Janko (August 29, 2019). "Inside Plex's Quest to Become a One-Stop Shop for Digital Media". Variety. Retrieved March 20, 2021.
  24. ^ "Plex Media Server | 2021 Plex Pass Cost, Pricing, Plans & Free Trial". Retrieved March 20, 2021.
  25. ^ "What Is Plex?". PCMAG. Retrieved March 20, 2021.
  26. ^ "Plex Terms of Service – Plex Media Server". Retrieved July 7, 2016.
  27. ^ "Plex 7 Adds iTunes and iPhoto Support and More". November 11, 2008. Retrieved July 8, 2016.
  28. ^ "Plex media center adds Aperture support, continues to shine – 9to5Mac". November 25, 2008. Retrieved July 8, 2016.
  29. ^ "Frankly my trailer, I don't give a playlist – Plex". July 31, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  30. ^ "Identifying Music Media Using Embedded Metadata – Plex". Retrieved July 8, 2016.
  31. ^ "What metadata can an m4a file hold and how do I get at it?". August 25, 2015. Retrieved July 8, 2016.
  32. ^ "Adding Music Media From Folders – Plex". Retrieved July 8, 2016.
  33. ^ "Best Media Streaming Devices - Live streaming apps powered by Plex".
  34. ^ "A Plex/Web Update – Plex". November 16, 2012. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  35. ^ "Media software maker Plex launches new subscriber-only apps for music and server management". TechCrunch. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  36. ^ April 2020, Marshall Honorof 26. "What is Plex? Everything you need to know". Tom's Guide. Retrieved March 20, 2021.
  37. ^ "What is Plex? 5 Things to Know". Cord Cutters News. November 27, 2020. Retrieved March 20, 2021.
  38. ^ "Plex is launching its own ad-supported video service, starting with content from Warner Bros. TV". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 20, 2021.
  39. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 25, 2020). "Atari VCS Will Offer Streaming Service Plex Following Game Console's November Launch". Deadline. Retrieved March 20, 2021.
  40. ^ "What Is Plex Pass? 10 Features Worth Paying For In 2020". AndroidPCReview. July 15, 2020. Retrieved March 20, 2021.
  41. ^ Ricker, Thomas (2016-09-01). "Plex DVR is here". The Verge. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  42. ^ "Plex Acquires Watchup to Add News to Their Media Service". Cord Cutters News. 2017-01-31. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  43. ^ "Plex acquires streaming news app Watchup". VentureBeat. 2017-01-31. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  44. ^ June 2017, Nick Pino 01. "Plex adds live TV streaming to its box of tricks". TechRadar. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  45. ^ "Plex Just Killed My Cable Box Rental, and It Could Kill Yours Too". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  46. ^ G, Shreyas. "Plex rolling out update that brings news streaming to the platform". Neowin. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  47. ^ Roettgers, Janko (2018-01-24). "Plex Launches Virtual Reality App for Google's Daydream Headset". Variety. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  48. ^ Welch, Chris (2018-01-24). "Now you can watch Plex in virtual reality with Google Daydream". The Verge. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  49. ^ "Plex now supports podcasts". Engadget. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  50. ^ Alexandra Arici (2018-10-03). "Plex unveils Web Shows, a new way to watch and discover content". AndroidGuys. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  51. ^ Roettgers, Janko (2018-11-29). "Plex Partners With Tidal, Adds Music Service to Its Media Center App". Variety. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  52. ^ "Save $60 Per Year With New Tidal HiFi, Plex Pass Bundle". PCMAG. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  53. ^ Hayes, Dade (2019-12-04). "Plex Launches Free, Ad-Supported Streaming Service In 200 Countries". Deadline. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  54. ^ a b "Plex Will Let You and a Friend Watch a Movie Together Even When You're Apart – Review Geek". Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  55. ^ "Mes de la Herencia Hispana en Plex: más canales en español". Digital Trends Español. 2020-09-10. Retrieved 2021-05-27.
  56. ^ "Plex launches a subscription-based retro game streaming service, 'Plex Arcade'". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2021-05-27.

External links[edit]