Lightning PlexPass Review and Verdict – Hold off…for now.

As a long time user, and supporter of Plex, when the company announced their PlexPass subscription, I eagerly jumped on board.  Having been a Pass holder for a few months now, I felt I had experienced enough of the membership benefits to write a review.

Currently, users have a choice of three different payment options, Monthly, Annual and a Lifetime option for $3.99, $29.99 and $74.99 (available for a limited time only) respectively.   So what exactly does PlexPass get you?

  • Early access to new features and bleeding edge releases.
  • Help shape the future of Plex through private PlexPass forums.
  • Access to premium features for free before they’re launched.
  • Discounted access to premium features.

It’s important to note that being a PlexPass subscriber does not eliminate future costs, in fact, it explicitly states this is not the case.  This is important to note as Plex recently released PlexSync of which we wrote.  This feature, while free to PlexPass subscribers today, is to be a ‘premium feature’, and thus PlexPass users who will have gotten used to using it, for no additional cost, as part of their PlexPass subscription, will on one day see that functionality disappear unless they pay up for it, albeit it for a ‘discounted’ fee.

This raises some concerns with the Plex ecosystem in general.   First, Plex has indicated that they are moving down the path of ‘nickel and diming’ (my quotes, not Plex’s) users for additional features, perhaps by means of an additional, in-app purchase (within an App that already had to be purchased).  Second, I could argue that the act of taking away features from the very PlexPass members who are paying to help beta test is a bit disingenuous.  Some may argue that one should be willing to pay for good software, and to that I agree…PlexPass members are paying, and paying upfront, and are helping to test what Plex itself states is not ready for general release.

As such, I’d argue that one should think of PlexPass today in lieu of any donation one would have made before PlexPass.  Points like the ones made here have been made in the PlexPass forums by numerous PlexPass subscribers (myself included), and Plex has indicated it is still considering final PlexPass benefits.  But for now given the combination paying for early access to features which are then taken away unless you pay more and access to closed forums, its just not enough to recommend subscribing.  Should Plex management decide that PlexPass subscribers get an all in fee – included access to ‘premium’ features,  users should then seriously consider subscribing.

Happy cutting…

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