Under the deal, customers without an existing Philo subscription will be able to sign up to the service for $1 for the first month, a deep discount from its regular $20 price. Those looking for the dollar deal will need to buy certain devices, like Roku or Amazon Fire TV streaming sticks or smart TVs made by brands like Hisense or Westinghouse.
The promotion began today and runs through April 25.
Philo and Best Buy established a distribution relationship last September. While such pacts are fairly routine between digital, media and telecom players (think Verizon and Disney or Hulu and Spotify), the teaming was a first for Best Buy. After emerging from a fallow period a few years ago, the retailer has continued its rebound during the coronavirus pandemic. Brick-and-mortar retail is in flux, however, and Best Buy plans to close 20 of its stores this year and evaluate others as more of its business moves online.
Andrew McCollum, one of the co-founders of Facebook, is Philo’s CEO. The company in November said it had passed 800,000 subscribers, a four-fold increase from 2019 levels.
The internet TV sector overall has had ups and downs, with providers like DirecTV Now and PlayStation Vue buckling under the weight of unwieldy carriage deals. In addition to benefiting from general cord-cutting trends, Philo has shunned all sports programming, which commands the highest subscriber fees. Instead, it offers a lifestyle-heavy array of 60-plus channels from AMC Networks, ViacomCBS, A+E Networks, Discovery and other programmers. Philo’s $20 monthly price has held steady at a time when other internet pay-TV outfits like YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV and FuboTV have had to implement steep rate hikes.