Philo Streaming TV Bundle Hits 750,000 Subscribers, Up 300% In Past Year


Philo, which launched in the U.S. in 2017, has reached 750,000 subscribers to its non sports streaming bundle, up 300% in the past year.

On Wednesday, the company got a shout-out from Discovery’s David Zaslav. During an earnings call with Wall Street analysts, the CEO said Philo has been a valuable driver for the company, which has carriage for networks like HGTV, OWN and the Discovery Channel on the service.

With about 60 channels from Discovery, ViacomCBS, AMCNetworks and other programmers, Philo costs $20 a month. It has caught on among a particular group of cord-cutters and cord-nevers: those uninterested in sports, which accounts for a large share of pay-TV prices. Even streaming bundle players like Hulu and YouTube TV, whose initial premise was consumer value, have had to raise rates significantly as they have added networks, especially those featuring sports.

Philo’s growth in the first half of 2020 was the most of any U.S. MVPD, virtual or traditional.

Among streaming bundles, there has been a fair amount of turbulence in recent months, with downturns at AT&T Now and Dish Network’s Sling and a steep price hike by YouTube. Sony PlayStation Vue shut down this year after failing to achieve sufficient scale. Five-year-old startup Fubo TV has built a loyal and growing consumer base, but recently phased in price hikes after adding Disney networks, including ESPN, and reached an impasse with WarnerMedia.

Originally known as “skinny bundles,” these streaming TV packages services have generally had to keep raising prices in order to make the economics work. As they get pricier, they more closely resemble conventional pay-TV systems and subscriber growth stalls. Philo has managed to avoid that same roller-coaster by sticking to its initial strategy.

“As the proliferation of streaming services and the battle for the share of consumer dollars gets tougher, we have always believed that there is a strong demand for live television from beloved brands at an affordable price,” the company said in a statement furnished to Deadline. “Philo continues to be well positioned to deliver on this consumer need.”
Andrew McCollum, a co-founder of Facebook, became Philo’s CEO in 2014. At that time, it was an offering focused on college campuses, where students wanted inexpensive access to TV programming without equipment or contracts.

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