Plex plucks media cloud service, sends users scurrying to exit

Syncing company dumps storage wrangling subscription, infuriates customers

Sad man stares glumly over boxed contents of desk. Image via shutterstock (Baranq)

Streaming biz Plex has dumped its cloud-based media wrangling service, prompting users to dump its subscription service.

"We've made the difficult decision to shut down the Plex Cloud service on November 30th, 2018," the company said on Tuesday – six weeks before the deadline. "We've been actively working on ways to address various issues while keeping costs under control."

That effort has seemingly failed, and the biz has decided to axe it altogether – something it assured its fans it was "super bummed" about. On the plus side, the organization noted that the decision to kill off the service will allow it "to focus on improving core functionality, adding new features and content, and delivering on our mission to provide a world-class product that we can all rely on and enjoy."

Needless to say, many who signed up to Plex's Pass system were not as excited. "The one innovative step they took in years now dead. This is why I killed my subscription after four years," complained one former customer.

Another agreed: "Just heard Plex is canceling their Plex Cloud, guess I will be cancelling my Plex Pass. :/ Bummer." And another responded to that message: "Same here. Plus Pass is useless once Cloud is gone."

Commentary

The biz, perhaps wisely, turned off comments on its official announcement in its forums, giving older Plex Cloud threads a new lease of life.

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"Well, this is ridiculous," complained one disgruntled ex-customer. "I hope they plan on offering refunds for certain subscribers… the Cloud use was a huge reason for me signing on." Unfortunately for Plex, one of the most popular threads is currently people providing advice on good alternatives.

Plex allows people to stream their content from other places – media servers, cloud storage providers like Google One and Dropbox, etc – to any device they own for $5 a month, $40 a year, or $120 for "lifetime" usage.

However, the resources to wrangle all this tech seemingly ate away whatever profit margin Plex was making. The company stopped the creation of new cloud accounts in February, which in retrospect should have served as a bigger warning sign to people.

So, the plug is being pulled at the end of November. "We encourage you to set up a Plex Media Server on a computer or NAS device on your local network and Plex On!," the outfit helpfully suggested. "Our friends at WD have lots of storage options from hard drives to NAS devices, and they're currently offering a discount through Plex Pass Perks to help you out."

If people's posts are to be believed, that storage discount will be the last use they make of the company's premium service. ®




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