As the internet TV services have matured, their pricing has as well. The majority have raised their price points — some have even done so multiple times. Today, Philo is following suit…but only by a little. The streaming TV service has been one of the cheapest on the market, with an entry-level plan that began at only $16 per month for 45 channels. Now, it’s doing away with this super low-cost plan, and will only offer the existing $20 per month plan instead.
The $20 per month plan had offered 58 channels, as an upgrade from the basic plan with cable TV favorites. The upgrade adds on a few more networks, like MTV Live, BET Her, Nicktoons, Logo, Cooking Channel, Destination America, Discovery Family Channel, Discovery Life Channel, and others.
These, arguably, aren’t all “must-haves,” and we would think that this meant fewer subscribers on this tier. Philo claims that’s not true – subscribers were “split rather evenly” between the two tiers, but declined to share what percentage of its user base were on the different tiers.
The company declined to say how many customers it has, or the percentage of customers who had subscribed to its $16 and $20 plans.
With the price changes that go live on May 6, 2019, all new Philo customers will only have the option to sign up for the $20 per month page.
Existing subscribers will be grandfathered into the current pricing, however. They’ll also still be able to move back and forth between the two current plans, even after the May 6 deadline (so long as their subscription doesn’t lapse.)
Company CEO Andrew McCollum explained the move as needed to keep up with the times — and to address the rising operating costs Philo faces — in a statement posted to the company website.
“At Philo, we care deeply about creating the best TV experience possible at an affordable price. …Consolidating into a single $20 package was the best way for us to maintain the same offering we have today without raising prices for everyone, or having to cut back in places we strive to excel, like our customer support,” he said.
The 18-month old company is one of the few that hadn’t yet rolled out a price increase.
Hulu raised prices for its Live TV service in January, and YouTube TV just did so again just a couple of weeks ago. Sling TV, DirecTV Now, and PlayStation Vue have all seen price hikes, too. And in the subscription video on demand market, Netflix has been creeping ever higher, as well.
With new video services from Disney, Apple and WarnerMedia set to arrive this year, some consumers will be looking to shift funds around to afford their new subscriptions. Philo could benefit if subscribers drop higher-priced services in order to save money.
Despite the slight price bump, Philo still remains a low-cost option because it strategically opted to not stream sports. That allowed it to pass along the cost savings along to customers who could watch sports in other ways (or who didn’t care to watch sports at all.)
The company today caters to a younger demographic and has been developing a co-viewing, social feature to differentiate itself further. This feature is now in internal testing, the company said this month.
Updated 4/30/19 to include details on the split between tiers.