Philo Just May Have Found the Sweet Spot for Cord Cutters

Viacom’s entertainment-only bundle sounds too good to be true, but look deeper and its clear they are on to something…

Philo Offers 35 Channels for $16

As we recently reported, Viacom’s streaming bundle of entertainment-only cable networks launched Tuesday. Priced at $16/month with a full slate of entertainment networks and no sports or news, it instantly took the low cost mantle from Sling TV.

But can they succeed at such thin margins? What’s the bigger play here?

As you may know Mark Cuban is an investor and is on the Philo board of directors. The company also has former Facebook executives in leadership.

We believe that Philo is laser focused on millennials. Specifically two key user types:

1) Those who may be bundling their service with another streaming package like YouTube TV

2) Those who get their local networks over the air and don’t care to pay extra for them from other services.

Nostalgically named after Philo Farnsworth (considered by some to be the father of television), the new streaming service will seek to position itself with cord-cutters who want to access major OTT options, according to Philo CEO Andrew McCollum, an alumnus of Facebook. He expects customers to use an over-the-air antenna to receive local TV and to continue their subscriptions to SVOD services such as Netflix.

“We wanted to build the first social TV experience,” he said, indicating that Philo will eventually add social functionality, which was not available at launch. The vision is to establish a synch-watch feature that lets multiple friends chatter online about shows they are jointly watching, such as programs on Comedy Central or Discovery.

“We share a lot more about much more personal things on social media all the time,” McCollum said.

Time will tell if they are able to get traction but early reports are extremely impressive for such an ambitious undertaking.  We’re watching closely and eagerly await the arrival of a tvOS app for testing.

Have you signed up for the Philo streaming service? Share your thoughts in the comments below:

  • One interesting note about Philo is that they currently do not support TV Everywhere app logins. We’ve reached out to Philo to find out when we can expect this to change and will update the article once we have the information.

    Here’s our comparison matrix showing TV app support for all streaming providers >