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Plex pulls the plug on podcasts and web shows



Plex pulls the plug on podcasts and web shows

A week after launching a new universal search and discovery tool, Plex is inconveniencing podcast listeners by removing support for podcasts and web shows this Friday, April 15.

The company wrote in a forum,

As part of our ongoing effort to make sure we’re spending our time and energy in ways that best serve our awesome user community, we’ve made the decision to end support for Podcasts and Web Shows within Plex. We recognize this decision will impact several of you greatly, and we apologize for the inconvenience it will cause. You can continue to access these features within Plex until Friday, April 15th, 2022, at which point they will no longer be available.

Podcasts within Plex were first added in 2018 as were Web Shows but it’s unclear how popular they were on the service which is today primarily focused on streaming TV and movies. The only reason Plex provided as to why it’s removing this content is that the company wants to spend “time and energy in ways that best serve our awesome user community.” This likely references Plex’s increased focus on its free, ad-supported streaming service that’s now driving the company’s revenues.

Plex told users they could download their list of podcast subscriptions in OPML format by following Plex’s instructions on how to replace the TOKEN with your own X-Plex-Token value — a somewhat technical process that may not make sense for casual users to attempt.

It’s not surprising that they’re throwing in the towel, being that users have constantly complained about buggy functionality such as playback, episode sorting, and podcast management. One user wrote in Plex’s support forum, “Podcast experience wasn’t that great on Plex tbh and couldn’t see better development nor bug fixes, so it was wise to let it go to put resources elsewhere.”

Meanwhile, Web Shows will close on the Plex media server, which is another blow to the service. This isn’t a permanent removal, however, and apparently, it will “live on in other areas of the Plex app,” the announcement said. We’ve asked Plex for details about the removals, and will update when the company has more to share.

Last week, TechCrunch reported the addition of the new Discover section, making it easier to discover, search, and personalize streaming content across subscriptions to Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, and others. Plex also has free Live TV channels to give users a “daily fix of news, tech and gaming, cooking, travel, classic films, and more.”


Huge Plex update adds a universal watchlist, cross-service search and new discovery features


These changes indicate a company that’s now more focused on the parts of the business that are making it money — not surprising given the $50 million growth equity round Plex raised last year to fuel its ad-supported streaming service. However, they do serve a blow to Plex’s stated mission of being a “one-stop-shop” for organizing all users’ media, including photos, music, audio, TV, movies, and more.

Source: Tech

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