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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Low-Cost Streaming Service Philo Coming to Apple TV This Summer, Unlocking TV Everywhere Authentication Soon

Last November a new streaming TV service called "Philo" was announced, aimed at providing a much cheaper monthly cost for users by cutting out all sports-related content. Starting at $16 per month, subscribers can stream 37 entertainment networks on multiple devices including iPhone, MacBook, Roku, smart TVs, and more.

At the time of its announcement the company said a Philo app would be coming to Apple TV, and now CEO Andrew McCollum has confirmed that the Apple TV app for Philo will be launching this summer (via CNET).

Philo for iOS

Alongside the launch window for the Apple TV app, McCollum revealed that the service will also allow subscribers to unlock the streaming apps for TV networks included in their Philo subscription. Much like DirecTV Now, this means 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.

This will be a bonus for Apple TV owners, since most over-the-top live TV streaming services don't support Apple's TV app, but many individual network apps do.
The live-TV streaming company will work on Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV devices this summer, CEO Andrew McCollum said last week. An Android mobile app is next on the roadmap.

In addition, you'll be able to do more with your Philo account. The company is unlocking the streaming apps for the TV networks included in a customer's subscription. That means if you pay for Philo's $16-a-month bundle of cable channels, you'll be able to access the paywalled apps for channels like AMC, Nickelodeon, Discovery Channel and History.
Philo's $16/month tier provides access to 37 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 46, 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.

On the channels offered by Philo, subscribers can record live TV and set recordings on future episodes to watch later, with space lasting for 30 days. In terms of streaming, Philo lets users stream on up to three screens at once in HD.

Comparatively, rivals like Sling TV start at $20/month for about 25 channels, DirecTV Now starts at $35/month for about 60 channels, Hulu with Live TV starts at $40/month for about 50 channels, and PlayStation Vue starts at $40/month for about 45 channels. All of these services include sports or have an option to add on sports content for an additional monthly cost.

ESPN itself has launched its own over-the-top streaming package called ESPN+, focusing on live sports, original shows and films, studio programs, and an on-demand library of content. ESPN+ costs subscribers $4.99/month or $49.99/year, and is pitched as a companion service to other ESPN channels and cable packages since it lacks some major live TV content, like games in the NFL and NBA.

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New Streaming TV Service ‘Philo’ Launches at $16/Month for Viewers Not Interested in Sports Content

The latest TV streaming service, Philo, will provide subscribers with a cost that undercuts the price of competing "over the top" services by excluding sports-related content (via Business Insider). This means Philo starts at $16/month for access to 37 entertainment networks, which you can watch on your iPhone, MacBook, connected TV, Roku, and soon the Apple TV.


Philo started by providing programming to college students on campuses across the United States, and is led by CEO Andrew McCollum, who was a founding member of Facebook. The company gained strategic investments totaling $25 million from five programming partners, including A+E, AMC, Discovery, Scripps, and Viacom. Every channel in the basic $16/month tier is listed below:

- A&E
- AMC
- Animal Planet
- AXS TV
- BBC America
- BBC World News
- BET
- Cheddar
- CMT
- Comedy Central
- Discovery Channel
- DIY
- Food Network
- FYI
- GSN
- HGTV
- History
- IFC
- ID
- Lifetime
- Lifetime Movies
- MTV
- MTV2
- Nickelodeon
- Nick Jr.
- OWN
- Science
- Spike
- Sundance Channel
- TeenNick
- TLC
- Travel Channel
- TV Land
- Velocity
- VH1
- Viceland
- We TV

For $20/month you can watch everything listed above, with the following channels added:

- American Heroes Channel
- BET Her
- Cooking Channel
- Destination America
- Discovery Family
- Discovery Life
- Logo
- MTV Live
- Nicktoons

Because TV providers sell content in bundles, Philo's lack of sports programming also hinders some of its entertainment offerings, including any channels owned by Disney and Fox. There also won't be any content from CBS or NBCUniversal. Still, Philo comes in quite low when compared to starting prices of other services like Hulu Live TV ($40/month) and YouTube TV ($35/month), and is more competitive with Sling TV's low-tier offerings ($20/month).

In terms of features, Philo lets you watch any channel live or save an episode of any show onto a DVR with storage that lasts for 30 days. You can also stream in HD on up to three devices at once. Although not appearing at launch, Philo also plans to debut a "Social TV" aspect in the future, with subscribers able to see which episodes their friends are on in a TV show, see a friends list of users actively watching something, and synchronize viewing of an on-demand show with a friend. Social TV features are expected to launch in 2018.

More information on Philo can be found on the company's website here, including a seven day free trial.

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