Google Fiber adds Philo to list of streaming TV partners

Philo earlier this year added Starz and Epix as its first two premium channel add-ons for subscribers. (Philo)

After earlier this year shutting down its pay TV service, Google Fiber has added Philo as a third streaming TV partner.

Philo, a live streaming TV service focused on entertainment programming, offers more than 60 channels including A&E, AMC, Comedy Central, Food Network, HGTV, Lifetime and Nickelodeon for $20 per month. The service joins fuboTV and YouTube TV as one of Google Fiber’s streaming partners.

“The past few months have made the choice and control that streaming provides even more critical. With live sports at a trickle and new movies coming out online instead of in the theater, knowing how to find the content you want when you want it is essential,” wrote Liz Hsu, director of product strategy at Google Fiber, in a blog post. And that time is going up: our network saw around a 35% increase in traffic overall as people began to work and learn and live at home full time, and we also saw an increase in streaming traffic, with people watching earlier in the day and for longer periods of time. And as always, gigabit internet makes it easy to put any — or many — streaming services to work.

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In February, Google Fiber announced that it will no longer be offering a traditional linear TV product to its new subscribers and will instead direct them toward live streaming TV service options. That followed an announcement in December that it would begin offering YouTube TV as an option for its new subscribers.

In a company blog post, Google said consumers no longer need “pricey bundles” with channels they won’t watch and don’t want to get locked into services as price increases and contract disputes continue.

“As we return our focus to where we started — as a gigabit Internet company — we’re also ready to challenge the status quo, to finally come right out and say it: customers today just don’t need traditional TV,” the company wrote.

The addition of Philo to Google Fiber’s list could help the virtual MVPD continue its growth streak. Philo now has nearly 750,000 subscribers and the service said it has grown 300% year over year. The company added that, based on other’s reporting and its partners’ data, it’s the fastest growing MVPD in the first half of 2020.