CTV Ad Summit - leaderboard - 4-27-20

Analysis for 'Philo'

  • VideoNuze Podcast #396: Philo’s Narrow Opportunity; Roku Builds a Flywheel

    I’m pleased to present the 396th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. Many thanks to Brightcove, this week’s podcast sponsor. Brightcove will be presenting insights on server-side ad insertion at our SHIFT Programmatic conference on Nov. 29th.

    First up, we explore the potential of Philo, the entertainment-oriented skinny bundle that launched earlier this week. For $16 per month, it’s relatively inexpensive, but neither Colin nor I see it as a game-changer for its backers. Key issues are lack of marquee entertainment networks, completion from other skinny bundles and a glut of high-quality entertainment programming from big SVOD providers.

    We then dig into Roku, which reported its first quarterly results as a public company last week. We’re both impressed with how Roku is transitioning from a pure OEM device maker to a licensing and media company focused on online video advertising. By growing its installed base of Roku owners, which in turn supports its ad business, Roku is in the early stages of building a nice flywheel. We discuss both the potential of its model and possible risks.

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  • Philo Launches Entertainment-Only Skinny Bundle

    Philo has officially launched as a $16 per month entertainment-only skinny bundle targeted to viewers who don’t care about sports. The company has also raised $25 million from Discovery, Viacom, Scripps, A+E Networks and AMC, which are represented among the 37 TV networks included in Philo’s base tier. Another 9 TV networks are available for an additional $4 per month.

    Philo’s primary value proposition is that it frees non-sports fans from paying the exorbitant costs of sports programming that are embedded in the typical monthly pay-TV bill. A while back I estimated that at least $2 billion per year flows from non-sports fans to sports-oriented TV networks as an annual subsidy for networks that are rarely, if ever viewed. These billions in turn fund massive player salaries and support team valuations. The wastefulness of tens of millions of non-sports fans paying for programming they don’t care about is the single most inefficient aspect of the TV industry’s current structure.

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  • Can An Entertainment-Centric Skinny Bundle Succeed?

    Can an entertainment-centric skinny bundle succeed? That question will be answered soon when a new service including TV networks from Discovery, Viacom, AMC, A+E and Scripps launches, according to a recent WSJ report. The service will be called “Philo” which is the same name as the technology provider that will power it.

    Skinny bundles have received a huge amount of attention over the past couple of years as a lower cost approach the pay-TV industry is using to retain would-be cord-cutters. However, skinny bundles have faced the vexing question of whether to include expensive sports networks in their offers, which in turn pressure already minuscule profit margins.

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