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Plex Blog

December 23, 2021

2021 Year in Review

Dear Plex Community,

Thank you all for an amazing year at Plex. For us, 2021 was a year of healing and resilience, both on and off the platform. With the help of the most supportive investors ever, we were able to grow our team in new and exciting ways and expand our team of developers and designers to make the Plex experience sparkle across all of our apps. Much of this year was spent in preparation for an even bigger year in 2022 — laying the groundwork for services and features that will make Plex even more powerful and more useful in our mission to help you navigate the vast mediaverse of content out there.

On the product side, we were able to offer deeper customization and personalization, as well as evolve our layout to be easier on the eyes (and the CPUs). And with enhancements to Plexamp, we think we’ve delivered the best music player on Earth! On the content side, we significantly grew our selection of free movies and Live TV channels. We continue to add more and more premier partners, including AMC Networks and Paramount, and we’ve increased our variety of free Live TV with over 200 channels catering to all walks of life.

Most importantly, it was a year where we got to know our Plex community even better. Whether through conversations in our forums, in focus groups, or during our inaugural Pro Week in September, we loved hearing your passion, your questions, and yes, even the occasional “constructive criticism” (we can take it, and we always want to deliver the best experience too!). We’re excited to continue to grow with you and together build something pretty darn special — a community that people can depend on to discover, experience, and share all of the entertainment that matters to them. We are so grateful to have you as members of that community, and we hope that Plex gives you some extra entertainment and joy this holiday season. Thank you for making this year our best so far, and as they say … you ain’t seen nothing yet.

— Keith Valory, CEO & Scott Olechowski, CPO

Highlights from 2021

Join us in reminiscing about all we’ve done in 2021. Read on for a month-by-month roundup of notable milestones, new products, top streaming titles, and other company highlights from 2021.

Custom App Icons

We added a new way to customize your app with a choice of app icons (for Plex Pass users only) and improved hub screen performance.

Company Milestone: We donated 1% of our 2020 revenues to charitable organizations chosen by our employees.
Top Movie of the Month: The Last Witch Hunter

Dolby Vision Video Playback

We leveled up home entertainment with added support for Dolby Vision video playback for iOS. And audio got an upgrade too with more vibrant backgrounds for Audio Players.

Top Movie of the Month: Forever My Girl

Discover a New Portal to Plex

Stay close to your loved ones, your friends, and now all the entertainment you love most with Plex on Portal from Facebook. Now you can download our app on Portal, Portal TV, Portal+, or Portal Mini to experience your media in a whole new way.

Network Security Newness

Server network connections moved to Let’s Encrypt allowing your connections to be quicker to start up, more reliable, and even more private than before.

New Content Partners: AMC Networks
Top Movie of the Month: Black Sheep

A New Dynamic Home Screen Is Here

Users gained the ability to build their dream home screen with new customizations. The sources users have pinned in the app sidebar–and their order–control what appears on the home screen. Server owners can also customize the content promoted from their libraries.

This Sounds Sweet

Users in the Xbox Insider program gained access to audio passthrough support. Audio passthrough support allows users to enjoy DTS and TrueHD passthrough to a supported, connected AVR, cutting down the number of cords required for surround sound.

Company Milestone: New Funding
New Content Partners: FUEL TV
Top Movie of the Month: Colombiana

New Version of Plex for Alexa

Added FLAC support to Plex for Alexa. We also boosted first-party Echo devices with support for Direct Play, allowing your server to stream files directly using almost no CPU; and Sonos and Bose devices now support Direct Stream.

Top Movie of the Month: Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life

Your DVR Just Got An Upgrade

We rebuilt the DVR setup flow to make it easier and simpler than ever. We now support multiple lineups (and/or countries, across one or multiple tuners) giving you easy access to whatever over-the-air signals your antennas pick up, all in one guide.

Top Movie of the Month: Noah

Media Hoarders Rejoice!

Custom collections and hubs were released making it easier than ever for server owners to create Collections with just a couple clicks.

Top Movie of the Month: Salt

Super Sonic

Super Sonic, a sophisticated neural network that analyzes music libraries to discover sonically similar music, was rolled out.

Modern Layout

Modern Layout introduced, making transitions smoother and streaming easier by displaying useful information such as artwork, summaries, content ratings, cast lists, and status information.

Company Milestone: Plex reaches 100 full-time employees globally.
Top Movie of the Month:
Django Unchained

Our First Plex Pro Week

We launched our first ever Plex Pro Week where we interviewed a host of passionate server owners from the Plex community and experts inside Plex to ask how users can up their Plex game with Plex Pass. Experts covered transcoding, downloads, enhanced dashboard control, Plexamp, and user contributions to Plex, helping users take their personal media experience to the next level.

Top Movie of the Month: Noah

Roam Where You Want To

“Sync” was rebuilt as “Downloads” making downloads easier and faster with a single tap.

Company Milestone: Plex gives all employees a week off for a much-needed mental health break.
New Content Partners:
Paramount+
Top Show of the Month: Sanctuary
Top Live TV Channel of the Month: Are We There Yet?

True Colors

New Color Themes now allow users to personalize Plex on supported apps by choosing from a series of light and dark themes, and even more multi-colored themes for those with Plex Pass.

Company Milestone: 200 Live TV Channels
Top Movie of the Month: The Switch

Next JS Site

Forged a partnership with NEXT.js to implement a massive platform-wide update where three web properties will align into one.

iOS and tvOS

Rolled out the ability for users to switch to recently used Home users while offline on iOS and tvOS with other platforms soon to follow.

Top Movie of the Month: It’s a Wonderful Life
Top Live TV Channel of the Month: Crime 360

Looking Ahead to 2022

So what would you like to do next with your Plex? Let us know in the comments below. Think big or small — we’re all ears! And thanks again for all the support and have a safe and happy holiday season from all of us at Plex.

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