Philo has revealed it will raise its base price from $20 a month to $25 a month for new customers, effective June 8.

This will be the first price increase for the live streaming service since its launch in 2017. Existing customers will continue to pay $20 a month as long as they maintain their subscriptions.

In a blog at its web site,, Philo CEO Andrew McCollum blamed the price hike on the escalating cost of acquiring programming from the networks. Philo offers more than 60 ‘basic cable’ channels such as AMC, A&E, TV Land, OWN, Lifetime, Comedy Central, MTV, Game Show Network and BET. You can see the complete list here. 

“So, why are we doing this?” McCollum writes. “Maybe this seems like a strange question to ask since it is common for TV services to raise their prices year after year, sometimes by eye-popping amounts. Still, at Philo, we haven’t raised our prices since we launched more than three and a half years ago, even as we’ve continued to add content to the platform, so why do it now? As many of you know, our contracts with our content partners include fees we pay that go up every year, and a significant part of the cost of Philo is driven by our platform and billing partners. We are relentless in our focus on keeping our price low, so we do everything we can to reduce our overhead while managing these increasing costs. Even with those efforts, we can’t offset these rising costs indefinitely, and this change reflects that reality.”

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At $25 a month, Philo still has the lowest price of all major live streaming services, including Sling TV, which this year increased its base price from $35 a month. Philo can charge a lower rate because it does not carry any sports channels, such as ESPN, Fox Sports, or regional sports channels, or any local network affiliates. The decision to omit sports channels and network affiliates allows Philo to charge less because both groups are very expensive to carry. (ESPN, for instance, arguably charges more in carriage fees than any other channel.)

McCollum says as part of the new $25 a month plan, new subscribers can keep recordings in their unlimited DVR service for a full year, up from 30 days. Existing subscribers can upgrade to this plan to get the extended DVR service.

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— Phillip Swann