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Philo Finally Breaks, Raises Prices for New Customers

Philo
(Image credit: Philo)

In another blow to the struggling virtual pay TV market, Philo said that the price its new customers pay is rising $5 a month to $25.

Philo's more than 800,000 existing subscribers, plus any of those who sign up before June 8, will continue to pay $20 a month or less.

However, Philo is adding an enticement to its new $25 "tier"--those paying that rate get to keep the shows stored on their unlimited cloud DVR for one year, vs. the current 30 days. Existing customers who want that 365-day storage need to start paying 25 bucks a month. 

Philo offers the skinniest, most straightforward bundle of the vMVPDs, delivering a single programming tier of more than 60 entertainment-oriented basic cable channels, no news or sports.

As rival vMVPDs (Sony PlayStation Vue, AT&T TV Now,  T-Mobile TVision) have fallen by the wayside, or seen their prices shoot up from $35 to $65 a month (YouTube TV), Philo has notably managed to hold the line as a cost-effective solution for complimenting  SVOD services and OTA antennas with an array of live basic-cable channels. 

Technically, this is Philo's first ever price increase. In April 2019, the San Francisco streaming startup eliminated its $16-a-month base tier for new customers (existing customers got grandfathered in that that rate). Its "premium" $20-a-month plan  became the only tier available for signups moving forward. 

The company, meanwhile, has steadily added minor networks to its portfolio, doubling its offering from startup. 

But given the constant upward price pressure on licensing linear channels, even Philo can only hold the line so long.