T-mobile announces their Binge On feature
DIEGO LUNA | BUSINESS EDITOR | THE USD VISTA | @DIEGOTOTHEMOON
T-Mobile USA is a national provider of wireless voice, messaging, and data services. Over the past few years they have become one of the largest mobile services provider in the nation with over 293 million Americans in their network.
Last week T-Mobile made a monumental announcement.
You can now stream all you want for free without using your data. Yes, you read that right.
T-Mobile users will now be able to stream videos from select video streaming apps without draining their data.
T-Mobile has appropriately titled the new feature Binge On.
The name Binge On is a play on words, poking fun at the fact that people often times refer to bursting through a gazillion episodes of something in one sitting of binge watching, according to TechCrunch.
Binge On will be added to T-Mobile services for no cost starting in January 2016.
This has perks for users with unlimited data.
If you have 3GB of data or more, you’ll be able stream from services for free, without using data. Having more data equals more benefits.
In fact T-Mobile claims you’ll receive one free movie rental a month from VUDU – as long as Binge On is enabled.
In a world full of busy and fragmented lives, T-Mobile USA has the idea that wireless communications alongside multimedia offerings can further expand their customer loyalty.
From a business standpoint it would be interesting to see how other carriers respond to T-Mobile’s bold choices.
This isn’t the first time T-Mobile has done a data postponement strategy.
T-Mobile made a similar move with music services like Spotify and Pandora in June of last year.
However, no other carrier followed.
Students at the the University of San Diego believe this value-added feature gives T-Mobile a competitive advantage,
Others believe this is a terrible way to incentivize students.
This time, students had something to say about this new feature.
Senior Colton Michael Moore believes this is not a good way to incentivize students.
“Free video streaming sounds cool, but it’s not useful for our commitment to school,” Moore said. “I know way too many people that already spend mass amounts of time binge watching Netflix. I’m not saying that I haven’t done it, but I will say it has made me lose track of classes, especially those days I stayed up watching Sons of Anarchy until three in the morning.”
Many students are probably asking themselves how T-Mobile is able to pull off this stunt.
Binge On is only for qualifying T-Mobile customers. Binge On is restricted to customers who have data plans of at least three gigabytes. There is nothing to configure – this feature will be automatically applied to your plan.
However, third party subscriptions to each individual app such as Netflix will still be need to be paid, those aren’t free.
Many students agree that Binge On is a great value-added feature. Others say this might cause some problems especially since T-Mobile is declaring some types of the content as free.
Federal Communications Commision chairman Tom Wheeler said that they will be looking at each plan individually.
However, at this point T-Mobile is in the clear.
Ok, so what select video streaming apps will be available to take advantage of this new Binge On feature? Some of the major apps include millennial favorites such as Netflix, Hulu, ESPN, Fox Sports, DirectTV, Vevo, HBO, and Starz.
Junior Max Cardinale believes that T-Mobile has been improving their sales tactics and is now competing with the big guys.
“I’ve noticed that T-Mobile has been jumping on the advertising and and promo bus recently,” Cardinale said. “I’d say it’s a pretty bold move on their behalf. I don’t know of any other provider doing this, this is really a big boost to incentivize their existing customers.”
Some of us are wondering about YouTube. It seems like it has been quite the omission.
YouTube accounts for 73 percent of all internet video portals while Netflix accounts for 9 percent of the market share, according to Statista.
Cardinale agrees that it’s a smart move that YouTube isn’t jumping on the Binge On bandwagon.
“YouTube is a platform where people get recognition and noticed for the first time,” Cardinale said. “If YouTube became a paid subscription and added itself to Binge On feature it would reduce overall users to those dedicated to making a living off YouTube.”
Freshman Iona Basil believes Binge On is a great the feature to add but she believes T-Mobile is not considering other people’s wants.
“Yeah free streaming just sounds cool, on paper, but they’re only making free streaming on apps that have to be paid for,” Basil said. “What about other media platforms like YouTube and Vine? Those are the apps I use to most to stream videos.”
Whether your choice is to viciously stream to YouTube or Netflix, just know that there are other ways to be productive with your time.
Regardless, binge watching Netflix shows until 3 a.m. may not be this most recommended use of time on a school night.