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Philo Internet-TV Startup Offers Pandora Premium Free for Three Months

Philo is teaming with music streamer Pandora in the hopes of luring more cord-cutters and cord-nevers to its skinny internet TV bundle — but it’s not clear how compelling the limited-time offer will really be.

On Wednesday, Philo, a virtual pay-TV startup backed by several cable programmers, launched a promo offering three months of Pandora Premium (normally $9.99 per month) for free to both new and current subscribers.

The promo is limited to the first 200,000 Philo subs who take advantage of the offer and is set to run through October.

Competition among internet-based subscription TV providers has ratcheted up a few notches in the past year. Philo’s skinny bundle, which launched last fall, is vying in a crowded field that includes AT&T’s DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, Hulu With Live TV, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue and FuboTV.

Ultimately, the Philo-Pandora promo might not move the needle much. After all, the offer is just one month longer than Pandora Premium’s current offer of a 60-day free trial service.

And, as a limited-time offer, it’s not likely to be as sticky as real bundling deals. For example, Spotify and Hulu broadly launched a bundle last month: The “Spotify Premium, Now With Hulu” $12.99 monthly bundle includes Hulu’s entry-level, ad-support VOD service and Spotify’s full premium music service.

Philo’s skinny bundles start at $16 per month for 37 channels and $20 monthly for 46 channels. Most of those networks are from its cable backers — A+E Networks, AMC Networks, Discovery/Scripps Networks Interactive and Viacom. The big omissions: Philo doesn’t have any sports or broadcast programming, or premium nets like HBO and Showtime.

Philo said the Pandora Premium promo offer is available to both new and existing subscribers. The offer is available through Oct. 26, 2018, or until all 200,000 codes have been issued. More info is at try.philo.com/pandora.

The programming lineup for Philo’s $16-per-month service includes A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, AXS TV, BBC America, Cheddar, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, Food Network, GSN, HGTV, History, Investigation Discovery (ID), IFC, Lifetime, MTV, Nickelodeon, TLC, and Travel Channel. For $20 per month, subscribers get nine more channels: American Heroes Channel, BET Her, Cooking Channel, Destination America, Discovery Family, Discovery Life, Logo, MTV Live and Nicktoons.

The Philo service includes live TV and a library of VOD content, with the ability to stream on up to three different devices at the same time. It also provides a DVR with unlimited 30-day storage, plus the ability to pause any live channel, start programs from the beginning, and watch any shows that have aired in the past three days.

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