Frndly TV Plans to Add Channels Without Pricing Out Budget-Minded Subscribers
With a small staff of 40+ employees, there aren’t a lot of live TV streaming services in the U.S. like Frndly TV. Especially one that has managed to accumulate a substantial customer base with only a little over two dozens channels.
Co-founders Andy Karofsky and Michael McKenna sat down with Fierce Video to discuss future growth strategies and how they plan to expand their channel lineup while still keeping the price affordable for customers.
In 2019, the service launched as a highly targeted skinny bundle with only a dozen channels at the price point of $5.99 per month. Since then it has doubled its channel lineup, offering family-friendly options like Hallmark Channel, History, The Weather Channel, [GAC Family], Curiosity, Dove Channel, Family Movie Classics, Heartland TV, and more.
In November 2021, Frndly TV reached a deal with A+E Networks which also marked the first time in its history that the notoriously low-priced subscription service raised its price, moving up to $6.99/month.
The company is expected to roll out even more channels early next week. How do they plan to keep the service at the same price?
|DTV STREAM||Fubo||Hulu||Philo||Sling TV||YouTube|
|Essai gratuit||Essai gratuit||S’inscrire||Essai gratuit||50% OFF||S’inscrire|
|US$ 74.99||US$ 85.98||US$ 69.99||US$ 25||US$ 40||US$ 40||US$ 72.99|
|Crime & Investigation||^ US$ 5||-||-||•||-||-||-|
|Curiosity Channel||-||^ US$ 8||-||-||-||-||-|
|FYI||≥ US$ 109.99||-||•||•||^ US$ 6||^ US$ 6||-|
|Great American Family||≥ US$ 109.99||^ US$ 8||^ US$ 8||•||^ US$ 6||^ US$ 6||-|
|Great American Living||-||^ US$ 8||-||-||^ US$ 6||^ US$ 6||-|
|Grit||≥ US$ 99.99||•||-||-||^ US$ 6||^ US$ 6||-|
|GSN||≥ US$ 99.99||^ US$ 8||-||•||^ US$ 6||^ US$ 6||•|
|Hallmark Channel||•||•||•||•||^ US$ 6||^ US$ 6||•|
|Hallmark Drama||^ US$ 5||^ US$ 8||^ US$ 8||•||^ US$ 6||^ US$ 6||•|
|Hallmark Movies & Mysteries||^ US$ 5 (≥ US$ 74.99)||•||•||•||^ US$ 6||^ US$ 6||•|
|Heroes & Icons||≥ US$ 99.99||-||-||•||^ US$ 6||^ US$ 6||-|
|INSP||^ US$ 5||^ US$ 8||-||•||-||-||-|
|Ion||≥ US$ 74.99||•||-||-||-||-||•|
|Lifetime Movie Network||≥ US$ 109.99||-||•||•||^ US$ 6||^ US$ 6||-|
|Outdoor Channel||-||^ US$ 5||^ US$ 10||-||^ US$ 6||^ US$ 6||-|
|PixL||-||-||-||-||^ US$ 6||^ US$ 6||-|
|Sportsman Channel||≥ US$ 109.99||^ US$ 5||^ US$ 10||-||^ US$ 6||^ US$ 6||-|
|Start TV||-||-||•||•||^ US$ 6||^ US$ 6||•|
|The Weather Channel||≥ US$ 99.99||•||•||-||-||-||•|
|UPtv||≥ US$ 99.99||-||-||•||-||-||-|
Frndly TV, which now has more than 500,000 subscribers, is designed to boost availability for “channels with less representation in the traditional and virtual MVPD space.” Karofsky added that the company solved the distribution problem for programmers and consumers while sticking with its affordable and simple model.
When asked how the service planned to keep the entry tier at a low price while still expanding the channel lineup, Korofsky answered, “It’s been a core tenet to our strategy since we launched, this idea of delivering high-quality, affordable service. It takes a lot of effort and discipline around the entire business to manage our cost structure, but we do a really good job of it. We’re still a small company. We have around 40 employees and a large number of those employees are in our customer service group.”
“We just try to do a really good job of keeping our overhead and cost structure as low as we can so we can continue to add great content to our lineup,” he added. “We can’t add everything. There’s certain content out there that would just blow up our model. But we were able to find an avenue with A+E with content that was, when we surveyed our customer base, it was content that they were extremely interested in. We were able to add it under a construct with A+E that allowed us to retain our cost structure.”
The co-founder boasted that Frndly TV speaks to its customers when making programming decisions. That way, they can add the shows and specific channels requested, enhancing the experience and making it even more valuable for existing and new customers.
“We also made a strategic decision at the beginning to keep the customer service in-house, so that we were directly in contact with our subscribers,” Korofsky said. “So, it’s not only an issue of querying our subscribers when opportunities like A+E or others come up, to get their feedback on whether they have an affinity for that programming. But we’re also reacting to every customer interaction that comes through. So, if we start to see a trend, it allows us to take it into consideration when we’re looking at programming or any other aspect of the business that touches the consumer.”
With so many streaming services raising their prices, it is refreshing to know that you can still watch wholesome TV at a somewhat wholesome price.
Frndly TV is a live TV streaming service with over 40 channels for US$ 6.99/month. Each plan is designed to provide a skinny bundle of family-friendly channels at a reasonable price. The service will appeal most to fans of Hallmark channels. It does not offer news, sports, or local channels.
Frndly TV offers three plans — on 1 device in SD with their “Basic” (US$ 6.99) plan, on 2 devices in HD with their “Classic” (US$ 8.99) plan, and 4 devices in HD on their “Premium” (US$ 10.99) plan.