Best Buy has formed a strategic partnership with streaming TV bundle purveyor Philo, the first such teaming in the electronics retailer’s history.
Philo subscribers can get one month of Philo free with purchase of certain streaming devices, smart TVs and antennas at Best Buy. Alternatively, those signing up for a Philo subscription either in stores or online through Best Buy will get 50% off their first month’s bill.
It is Philo’s first partnership with a major brick-and-mortar consumer electronics retailer. As streaming has exploded in recent years, partnerships with wireless companies and other major points of distribution have been common for streaming players. Best Buy represents a different, but hardly insignificant oppportunity.
A powerhouse in the 1990s and 2000s, Best Buy has seen tougher times in recent years as all retailers face intensifying competition from Amazon and other online outlets. It has rebounded recently, reporting strong results in the second quarter. Total revenue increased 4% to $9.9 billion, with online sales tripling due to COVID-19-related demand for laptops and other devices.
Led by Andrew McCollum, one of the co-founders of Facebook, Philo expanded nationally in 2017 after initially being targeted at college campuses. In August, it said
it had reached 750,000 subscribers, up 300% from the prior year.
Philo offers more than 60 channels from programmers like A+E Networks, AMC Networks, ViacomCBS and Discovery, with its $20 monthly fee reflecting the fact that sports is excluded from its offering. Other so-called “skinny bundle
” services like AT&T Now and YouTube TV have implemented significant price hikes as their channel portfolios have grown.
“We’re thrilled to announce our partnership with Best Buy, and it opens the door to a whole new segment of customers to embrace the future of TV. Complexity is still the biggest barrier for consumers looking to cut the cord and switch to streaming TV, and Best Buy has a long history of helping customers navigate the best tech and entertainment products all in one place,” McCollum said in a press release.