Philo launches first native TV app on Samsung smart TVs

Wallet-friendly streaming television service Philo is rolling out a version of its app that will be native to Samsung's Tizen-powered smart TV sets.

It is the first time Philo has offered a version of its app that is native to a smart television set operating system; historically, Philo has only been available on streaming TV hardware made by Roku, Amazon, Google's Android and Apple, and web browsers.

In a blog post, a Philo spokesperson said compatibility with Samsung and other smart TV ecosystems is one of the most-requested features for the $25-a-month streaming service. The Samsung version of the app offers many of the same features that are found on other platforms, including access to streaming versions of over 80 live cable channels and an unlimited, cloud-based DVR that stores shows for up to one year.

Last month, Philo CEO Andrew McCollum said the service was platform-neutral, and that the company wanted to offer its app on as many devices as possible.

"We have always tried to be like Switzerland," McCollum said in an interview. "Wherever we are, we want the best experience across every platform we're on, regardless of what device it is."

Philo began recruiting developers for a Samsung app earlier this summer, according to job listings discovered by Fierce Video around that time. McCollum said one reason why it has taken Philo some time to develop an app for Samsung is because the service wants to get it right the first time, and doesn't want to announce or roll anything out until it's ready.

A Philo spokesperson said the version of the app rolling out to Samsung TV devices today is a "first-release" version that offers basic functionality. The release is timed to coincide with the start of the fall and winter television schedules, which include blockbuster hits like "Yellowstone" that are carried on Philo's programming partners. (Yellowstone returns in November.)

"Our team is fully committed to offering the best Philo experience on Samsung Smart TVs, so while there are enhancements pending as we roll out the full suite of features, we will continue to update the functionality over the coming month," the spokesperson said. "The user experience is at the heart of everything we do, and look forward to hearing your feedback about what you would like to see to evolve the Samsung Smart TV app."

The Philo app is available to download today for newer-model Samsung TVs sold from 2018 onward. Philo costs $25 a month and includes live cable channels and on-demand programming from Paramount Global (MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central), Warner Bros Discovery (Discovery, Animal Planet, Science Channel), A+E Networks (A&E, History, Lifetime, TLC), AMC Networks (AMC, IFC, BBC America, We TV), Bloomberg, Cheddar, Revry and others.