Vidgo Soft Launches with a $15 a Month Skinny Bundle, But This is What They’re Really Planning to Launch
Back in 2016, Vidgo sought out to revolutionize the Live TV Streaming market, but after a series of delays, the service has soft launched the service. While out of the gate the company will offer a single “early adopter” skinny bundle, which is similar to Philo, with channels from A+E, Discovery, Hallmark, & Viacom, that’s not what they’re actually building. Instead, by next month, they will be offering two plans not too dissimilar from what you get from other streaming services like Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV. It is expected to have two plans — one for $40 and another $50 with additional sports when it officially launches.
The company, which is based in Atlanta, comes from Shane Cannon, who is a veteran of the satellite industry. Cannon feels that their is an opportunity being a pre-paid option in the crowded world of Live TV Streaming Services by bringing pay-TV to the “under banked” similar to the way cell phone services did over a decade ago.
The company has already reached deals with Disney, Fox, and the NFL meaning that channels like ABC, ESPN, Disney Channel, FOX, FS1, Big Ten Network, NFL Network, and NFL RedZone will be joining A+E, Discovery, Hallmark, & Viacom in their more traditional TV plan. In fact, they will be the only Live TV Streaming Service with all the major college sports networks — ACC Network, Longhorn Network, Pac-12 Network, and SEC Network. A full channel line-up is below.
|Vidgo||AT&T NOW||fuboTV||Hulu||PS Vue||Sling TV||YouTube|
|Free Trial||Sign Up||Free Trial||Sign Up||Sign Up||Sign Up||Sign Up|
|ACC Network||•||$80||-||•||≥ $55||^ $10||-||•|
|Big Ten Network||•||$80||•||•||≥ $55||-||-||•|
|Longhorn Network||•||$80||-||-||≥ $55||^ $10||-||-|
|Pac-12 Network||•||-||•||-||-||^ $10||^ $10||-|
|SEC Network||•||$80||-||•||≥ $55||^ $10||-||•|
Out of the gate, the service allows you to stream on three devices simultaneously, but doesn’t currently have a DVR or On-Demand. It does offer basic Lookback to stream recently aired shows, but since the apps don’t have search, the only way to access them is from the guide. Fortunately, on-demand is already on the near term roadmap, hopefully in the next two months, with DVR coming soon after.
While most Live TV Streaming Services now cost $50+, Vidgo is trying to find exactly where they fit in the crowded field. One of the ways is by adding a focus to social in their apps. At launch, their mobile apps will support live chat either with your friends or other Vidgo users. The apps also has a co-viewing feature so you can watch simultaneously with your friends, even if they don’t have a Vidgo account. The company will let subscribers share 30-minute free preview of the service while they’re co-viewing on the Vidgo mobile app.
While the service has soft-launched, and is available to subscribers, they are still working out the kinks. Those who sign-up for their early adopter program will be able to keep the plan or upgrade to their official plans when they formally launch next month.
Everything You Need to Know About Vidgo
Plans & Pricing
The service currently offers a single plan for $14.99 a month, but when it officially launches its expected to have two English language plans and two Spanish language ones. Since it is a pre-paid monthly plan with no contracts, you can cancel at anytime.
While the service offers Live TV and On-Demand — Vidgo doesn’t currently offer a DVR. It is one of the more generous on simultaneous streams — allowing three people to watch from the same account at once.
Supported Devices & Apps
The service can be streamed on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, iOS, and Android. The company shared that it will be launching on Roku when the service officially goes live, but it isn’t available quite yet.
For now, the service has a single plan called the English National Plan which includes channels from A+E, Discovery, and Viacom. Their channel line-up is most similar to Philo, but is missing channels like AMC, Food Network, and DIY, but adds a few sports channels like Pac-12 Network, beIn Sports, and MAV TV.
Vidgo Early Adopter Plan vs. Other Skinny Bundles (Philo, AT&T WatchTV, & Spectrum TV Essentials)
|“Early Adopter”||“Philo”||“WatchTV”||“TV Essentials”|
|Free Trial||Free Trial||Free Trial||Sign Up|
Their $40 Core Plan will includes channels from ESPN & Disney, as well as from FOX like FS1 and BTN. Their $50 Premium Plan will include NFL RedZone, Pac-12 Network Regional Channels, and smaller networks from Discovery and Viacom.
Live Viewing & Stream Quality
When you’re watching a show, it has the ability for you to chat with other viewers. You also can create “Hangs”, which let you have a watch party with other subscribers of the service so you’re all watching in sync.
The service streams in 720p/30 fps, which is similar to what you see on Philo, but not the 720p/60fps that you might see on services like Hulu Live TV and fuboTV. Since there are limited live sports, the fact that it is in 30fps is less of an issue.
When they do ultimately launch their bundle which includes sports channels from ESPN and FOX, they will likely need to support 60fps to compete with services like YouTube TV, Hulu Live TV, and PlayStation Vue.
After signing up, when you launch the app, you’re brought to a traditional grid guide with channels down the left and categories along the top. You can see what’s currently on or look up to 7 days in the future.
When you tap on a show, it will bring up an overlay with more details on the episode, as well as the ability to favorite the channel.
The apps supports the ability to chat with your friends or other Vidgo users. It also has a co-viewing feature, so you can watch at the same time as your friends.
Like many other Live TV Streaming Services, Vidgo offers Look Back support, so you can watch any show that aired in the last 72-hours. However, like other on-demand content, there will be unskippable ads.
Unlike other Live TV Streaming Services, you can’t log-in to TV Everywhere apps with your Vidgo credentials. However, the service expects to support TV Everywhere in the near future.