Since 2017, Philo has differentiated itself from other virtual MVPD offerings by focusing exclusively on entertainment and lifestyle programming, including streaming over a dozen of Discovery Inc.’s cable networks.
It would therefore seem likely that Philo seems threatened by a new streaming rival, which also offers a significant amount of Discovery programs: Discovery +, the company newly launched streamer. However, Philo’s top executive insists he’s not worried about the new platform, that it appears to be a complement, not a competitor, to its streaming service.
“I think overall it’s great to bring options to consumers,” Philo CEO Andrew McCollum said during a CES 2021 speech on Tuesday. “It can be a great addition to what you get from Philo.”
Philo is available for $ 20 per month with over 60 channels, a much cheaper price than vMVPD competitors like YouTube TV or Hulu with Live TV, which also offer sports and news networks. At the same time, Discovery probably doesn’t want to siphon viewers from Philo, as the media company was one of Philo’s early investors.
McCollum sees vMVPD – which hit 800,000 subscribers last August – as a supplement to SVOD services such as HBO Max and Netflix, though he wonders when consumers will reach their “breaking point” when it comes to proliferation. streamers.
The abundance of login information, billing details, user interfaces and content options is becoming “overwhelming” for consumers, McCollum said. “I think over time things will become more and more consolidated in many ways.”
Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV and fuboTV have all raised their entry-level prices to $ 65 per month in 2020, which McCollum says indicates that virtual MVPDs are “trying to make the basic economy of the service work. ‘, Due to a high fresh sports programming. In 2019, Philo eliminated its cheapest tier, offering 45 channels for $ 16 per month, which was the platform’s only price change since its debut in 2017.
Philo still has no interest in adding sports or news networks to its programming. “We have no inherent bias against sports and current affairs content; it’s compelling content, ”McCollum said. “We think consumers should have a choice of how to get a bunch of content that is right for them, and we felt like these other sports and live streaming channels compared to what you were getting, the cost. was just much higher. “