This Should Be Philo’s 2019 New Year’s Resolution
To start the New Year, we have been taking a look back at each of the 7 Live TV Streaming Service’s past year, and what we hope lies ahead in 2019. In our final edition, we’ll look at the newest and what might be the most unique, entertainment-only streaming service, Philo.
ICYMI…Our 2019 New Year’s Resolutions
Unlike services like DIRECTV NOW and PlayStation Vue, which offered a traditional cable bundle for $40 a month, Philo offers entertainment-only channels for just $16. While it doesn’t have locals or live sports, the service includes major channels from A&E Networks, AMC Networks, Discovery, Scripps Networks, and Viacom, an unlimited DVR, and three simultaneous streams.
While it has had a compelling channel line-up from launch, what was missing going into to 2018 was the ability to stream on a wide variety of TV streaming players.
New Platforms & Apps
An interim step happened in April. Philo announced that they added TV Everywhere support to almost every channel in their skinny bundle. This meant you could use your credentials to access supported channel’s mobile and TV apps. So even though Philo still was without native apps on Apple TV and Fire TV, you could still access that content natively on your TV.
In July, the service released their biggest request — support for Apple TV and Fire TV. While they launched with Roku support, this would enable Apple and Amazon Fire TV users to fully use the streaming service. The final addition to the lineup was Android TV App which would come just before the New Year.
While customers were happy with native apps, their apps were missing a key feature — a standard channel guide. In October, the company would launch a grid guide on Roku, followed by Fire TV and Apple TV in December.
Going into 2019, the company would have native apps on every major platform, except for Android. The company has shared that they expect a native Android app in early 2019.
Competition and Growth
The next month they would face their first direct competition. AT&T announced the launch of their $15 a month WatchTV service. Unlike Philo, the bundle would not include a DVR or multiple streams — but included channels from Turner like CNN, TBS, and TNT.
In order to fuel the company’s growth to be in a better place to compete, they announced in July that they had raised an additional $40 million. The funding would come from their existing investors that included some of the networks on the service — AMC Networks, Discovery and Viacom.
While they would add a few smaller channels to their Plus package like aspireTV, REVOLT, and UPtv — the big news came in October.
Philo would add The Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Drama, and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries to their base package ($16) without raising prices. The channels were among the most highly requested by Philo subscribers and came just in time for the holidays.
Philo’s 2019 New Year’s Resolution
It was a busy 2018 for Philo, as they’ve grown the service with additional apps and channels. We know 2019 will include a native Android App, but what else do we expect?
If it was up to us, we hope their 2019 New Year’s Resolution focuses on two things — new channels and partnerships.
As an entertainment only bundle, the main channels that Philo is missing are those from NBC Universal — E!, Bravo, Syfy, and USA Network. With those channels, there would be almost no reason to subscribe to AT&T WatchTV except for AT&T-owned Turner channels or if you got it free with your AT&T wireless plan.
Adding new channels come at cost and we wouldn’t want them to move away from their $16 price point. While we like the concept of the two-tier bundle, their upgraded package, Philo Plus, doesn’t have any must have channels. They should turn Philo Plus into a more compelling way to expand the bundle, while keeping the base price low.
And while AT&T is giving away their AT&T WatchTV, Philo should look to partner with other telcos to do the same. T-Mobile and Sprint give away Netflix and Hulu respectively, neither offer live TV. Verizon recently shut down their Go90 service and have offered extended YouTube TV trials to 5G customers, but why not partner with one of them to give Philo to everyone?
For people who don’t watch sports, Philo has plenty of TV to keep you entertained. While we hope that they add more channels, what we really hope in 2019 is for them to partner to get the service in front of more viewers.
Want to Learn More About Live TV Streaming Services?
- You can read our comprehensive fuboTV review which highlights channels, features, performance, and supported devices, and more.
- You can read comparison of 7 different cord-cutting services including DIRECTV NOW, PlayStation Vue, fuboTV, Hulu Live TV, Philo, Sling TV, and YouTube TV.
- If you need a recommendation, use Channel Finder to add your favorite channels, shows, and sports teams and we’ll tell you the best service for you.