Philo CEO weighs in on vMVPD price increases

Philo CEO Andrew McCollum offered an opinion on recent price increases for virtual MVPDs as his service has mostly held steady.

McCollum was asked about YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV and fuboTV raising rates as programming packages grow during an afternoon panel at CES. He said some services had perhaps hoped to scale faster to make the businesses more economically viable.

Most recently, Hulu + Live TV expanded its distribution agreement with ViacomCBS to include 14 additional networks like Comedy Central and Nickelodeon. Last summer, sports-focused fuboTV finally added ESPN to its live channel lineup.

RELATED: An updated timeline of price hikes at YouTube TV and other vMVPDs

In 2020, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV and fuboTV all raised the cost of their entry-level tiers to $65 per month.

“It’s not equivalent to the amount they raised the price because they’re also trying to make the basic economics of the service work,” McCollum said.

In 2019, Philo stopped selling its $16 per month tier, leaving only its $20/month option. That’s been the only pricing change for Philo, which has been able to keep its rates lower by not including live sports, news and broadcast television.

In November, Philo announced that it was up to 800,000 subscribers. During an interview at the Stream TV Show, McCollum said that he doesn’t anticipate Philo will add any channels in the near future that will require the service to raise rates. He also said that Philo focuses on efficiently running its business to avoid big operational costs causing price increases.

“I can’t say that the price of Philo will never go up. But we definitely put a lot of effort into keeping it as low as we can,” he said.