Philo Online TV Service Tops 800,000 Subs

Budget online TV service Philo Nov. 8 disclosed it has topped 800,000 subscribers since launching in 2017. That’s up almost 7% since cresting 750,000 subs at the beginning of August.

CEO Andrew McCollum made the announcement at The Stream TV Show about the online TV service that costs $20 monthly for access to 60 pay-TV channels. That’s cheaper than online TV pioneer Sling TV. Only T-Mobile’s upstart TVision Vibe is cheaper at $10 monthly.

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“I can’t say that the price of Philo will never go up,” McCollum said in a question about loss-leader pricing. “But we definitely put a lot of effort into keeping it as low as we can.”

Philo TV Ups Basic Subscription Price 25%

Online TV service Philo TV is ending its longstanding $16 monthly plan (with pay-TV 45 channels) for its $20 plan with 58 channels, beginning May 6 for all new subscribers.

Subscribers who join the service before May 6 and existing subs will not see immediate fee hikes to their basic plans but will instead be grandfathered into the new price point over time.

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CEO Andrew McCollum made the announcement in a post on the service’s website.

“Since we launched 18 months ago, most of the other companies in our space have raised their prices, in some cases multiple times,” McCollum said. “We didn’t want to do that. Still, when we looked at all of the costs of operating Philo — which increase over time — consolidating into a single $20 package was the best way for us to maintain the same offering we have today without raising prices for everyone or having to cut back in places we strive to excel, like customer support.”

The price hikes comes as Hulu with Live TV raised its prices, followed by Google-owned YouTube TV. DirecTV Now, Sling TV and PlayStation Vue have all raised basic subscription plan pricing in recent months.

Philo is also reportedly working on technology that would allow users to share links with friends and watch programming concurrently from different locations.

Doing so could elevate social media interactions between users – a driving point for user retention and marketing. While the app has been completed, McCollum said Philo is waiting to launch it.

“We want to balance creating more options with making sure people don’t feel like they’re being coerced into stuff they don’t care about,” McCollum told TechCrunch earlier this year.