Live Streaming TV Service ‘Philo’ Launches on Apple TV
Live streaming television service Philo today launched on the fourth- and fifth-generation Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV, after first launching on iPhone, Roku, smart TVs, desktop and web browsers, and more last November.
With the Apple TV app, subscribers can sign into their Philo accounts and watch 40 channels at the cost of $16 per month. The service mainly attracts customers who aren’t interested in sports as it has no such channels, which helps to decrease subscription costs.
“Our goal is to build a television service that people love. The expansion onto Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV is a natural extension for us and allows many new people to discover and enjoy Philo, as well as expanding the viewing options for our existing subscribers,” explained Andrew McCollum, Philo’s CEO. “We’re thrilled with the response we’ve seen to Philo so far, but we’re always looking for ways to make it even better, and this is another big step forward in that direction.”
With the connected apps — now including Apple TV — users can watch their favorite channels live or on demand, pause live TV, restart programs from the beginning, save shows to a 30-day DVR, and watch on up to three devices at once.
The company promises that a native Android app is coming soon, and also announced that it has raised more than $40 million from investors with AMC Networks, Discovery, and Viacom leading its Series C round of funding. The money will go towards “product features” and “enhancements” to Philo, which will soon include a “socially-driven TV experience.”
Earlier in the spring, Philo also introduced the ability for subscribers to unlock the streaming apps for TV networks included in their Philo subscription. Now, more than 35 participating TV Everywhere apps support this feature, so that if users pay to stream a channel like AMC on Philo, they can use their Philo log-in within the AMC app to access paywalled content.
Philo’s $16/month tier now provides access to 40 channels, including A&E, AMC, BBC America, Lifetime, TLC, Travel Channel, and VH1. There’s also a $20/month option that increases the channel count to 49, adding in options like Logo and Nicktoons. Philo’s entertainment-focused lineup lacks sports, live news, major broadcast networks, and local channels — all of which help lower the monthly cost of the service.
Philo’s low-cost angle comes in contrast to rival services that include sports and local channels, at a hit to subscribers’ wallets since most have announced price hikes in recent months. YouTube TV started off by increasing its cost from $35/month to $40/month to align with Hulu with Live TV and PlayStation Vue’s $40/month starting price. Then in July, DirecTV Now announced the increase of all plan prices by $5/month, meaning its cheapest plan also starts at $40/month.
Sling TV’s $20/month Sling Orange plan was one of the closest tiers to Philo on the market, but this plan will increase in price as well, jumping to $25/month beginning in August.
Those interested in Philo can download the Apple TV app today on the tvOS App Store, and the service’s iOS app [Direct Link] is also available to watch on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
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