T-Mobile now excludes more than 100 streaming-video services from counting toward wireless subscribers’ data caps, announcing the addition of 16 partner apps including those from ABC, Apple Music, Disney, Dish Network and Fox.
Since launching eight months ago, T-Mobile says that customers have watched 765 million hours of video. Other services exempt from data-usage limits under Binge On include Netflix, YouTube, HBO Go and HBO Now, Amazon Video, Showtime, Dish’s Sling TV and Epix.
The goal: to lure customers away from AT&T and Verizon Wireless (and keep existing T-Mobile subs) by offering unlimited streaming of participating video services. Last fall, it also raised the price of certain wireless-data plans for new customers, because, according to a rep at the time “delivering unlimited LTE plans is expensive and data usage skyrockets.”
T-Mobile has denied that Binge On — referred to in the industry as “zero-rating” — is a violation of the FCC’s network neutrality rules, which forbid Internet service providers from discriminating against content providers. That’s because, according to the company, it extends the data-exemption to any qualifying media services.
“Binge On’s popularity with consumers and video providers is amazing!” John Legere, T-Mobile’s colorful CEO, exuded in a prepared statement. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it’s all about listening to your customers and doing what they want!” He added, in a reference to AT&T and Verizon, “So glad Dumb and Dumber keep getting it wrong!”
According to T-Mobile, 80% of Binge On providers surveyed said their users are watching longer, more frequently or watch more on mobile phones.
The 16 services added Tuesday to Binge On are: ABC, Apple Music, Big Ten Network, CEEK VR, Dish Anywhere, Disney Channel, Disney Jr., Disney XD, D-PAN.TV, Warner Bros.’ DramaFever, Fox Now, FXNow, Nat Geo TV, Shalom World, Sioeye and Tubi TV.