Plex started as a way to organize and stream your personal media collection. That’s still the main draw, though the company has also been experimenting with a free, ad-supported streaming service that doesn’t require you to download or rip a single file. Today, Plex announced that “thousands” of Crackle movies and TV shows have been added to its library in the US. The deal covers a smattering of blockbuster films including Captain Phillips and The Illusionist, as well as series such as Hell’s Kitchen, Snatch and Roseanne. It’s not the most captivating selection, but that’s because Crackle itself has always been a free service, with few originals to rival Netflix and other streaming heavyweights.
Plex launched its ad-supported streaming service last December. Warner Bros. was the first distributor to jump on board, bringing content from major studios such as Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), Lionsgate and Legendary. In a blog post, Plex teased that it’s “working on new partnerships” that will add even more freebies to its streaming catalog. It’s an intriguing play from the company, which has otherwise relied on Plex Pass for revenue. While the rest of the industry moves upmarket — commissioning massive shows to justify monthly subscription fees — Plex seems to content to strike deals with the players at the bottom of the pile.