Plex has changed its primary metadata source for movie posters. As a result, you should encounter higher-quality artwork within your personal library and the Plex service as a whole. Posters that you have manually selected or uploaded will not be affected by this change.
It’s been three years since the introduction of the Plex Movie agent, which retrieves movie posters from TMDB, Fanart.tv, and CineMaterial. But the platform has adopted a new “primary metadata source” to improve the quality of movie artwork, especially for niche titles. Presumably, the word “primary” means that TMDB and other sources will be treated as a fallback—Plex may still pull artwork from secondary sources when needed, though this hasn’t been confirmed.
Plex says that its new metadata source will improve the quality of movie posters. In most cases, this change will be “imperceptible.” But it should have a huge impact on lesser-known movies, which tend to have low-quality posters, incorrectly-sized posters, foreign posters, or no artwork at all. Additionally, this upgrade will help Plex manage its metadata database, but Plex hasn’t clarified why it will have this effect.
The name of this new metadata source is also a mystery. Plex has bolstered its FAST and AVOD offerings in recent years, and it’s preparing to launch a video rental service, so the new source may be some industry player that works with other streaming services. Again, we don’t know.
Note that Plex will still allow movie poster customization, and it will continue to provide alternate posters for the content in your media library. Any movie posters that you have manually selected will not be altered, but movies that use the default artwork will be updated. The new metadata source will also serve movie artwork for Plex Discover and the Plex ad-supported video library.
It may take a few days for the new metadata source to complete its rollout. You should notice an immediate change within the greater Plex service, but movie posters in your personal library won’t update until your next metadata refresh, which occurs every three days under Plex’s default settings. If you don’t use the default Plex Movie agent, you won’t see any changes.