Chalk this up as another victory for T-Mobile. The third biggest wireless carrier in the United States has announced that its Binge On feature has now added YouTube, as well as eight other video content providers that include Discover Go, Fox Business, Google Play Movies, Baeble Music, ESNE TV, FilmOn.TV, KlowdTV, and Red Bull TV. The total number of video content provider partners for T-Mobile’s Binge On service is now at 52.
Some may remember that back in December of last year, YouTube had charged that T-Mobile’s Binge On feature was downgrading the quality of YouTube videos without the consent of YouTube and its users. Apparently, Binge On did do some video compression (T-Mobile claims it was only optimizing videos for mobile viewing) in order to allow customers to enjoy viewing unlimited video content on their smartphones and tablet devices without affecting their monthly data allotments. YouTube was not included in the wireless carrier’s Binge On service, but still the quality of its videos were being downgraded.
Fast forwarding a few months to now, and it appears that T-Mobile has made adjustments to its mobile video service, and seems to have patched things up with YouTube. But it could be said that the real victors here are the subscribers. YouTube, after all, is the most popular source of video content in whole world, and it would really seem strange if it is not included in a mobile video service being offered by a major wireless carrier in the United States. When T-Mobile first debuted the Binge On service back in November of last year, the wireless carrier already managed to snag big names such as ESPN and Netflix. But in terms of diversity of video content, few can match YouTube in that department. And with mobile users watching more video content on their smartphones and tablet devices than ever, it is only fitting for YouTube to be binged on, too by T-Mobile’s subscribers.
T-Mobile also announced that it is making it easier for subscribers to opt out of the feature (either via text message or by using the mobile app). Moreover, the wireless carrier is now allowing video content providers to choose whether their videos get compressed or not. This option reportedly convinced YouTube and Google Play to join on the Binge On program.
The release of Binge On was fraught with controversy. Apart from the YouTube debacle, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) also accused T-Mobile of video throttling. John Legere, the chief executive officer of T-Mobile, defended the program (with some colorful use of language), and ended up issuing an apology. But it seems that the dust has started to settle now.
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