YouTube and Google Play have joined T-Mobile’s Binge On for free video streaming on-the-go.
Binge On is a program by T-Mobile that lets their subscribers stream certain services at no cost to their data plans. The program already featured a number of popular services like Netflix, Hulu, Vevo, HBO GO, and others however had been criticised by video streaming behemoth YouTube.
In a U-turn YouTube and parent company Google have opted to join the program, allowing you to stream the world’s largest video streaming service on the go for free. Additionally Google Play Movies and TV will become part of the program, bringing a giant library of Movies and TV available for rent and purchase at your data roaming fingertips.
The service, which reduces video quality to make streaming videos a viable option on-the-go, was originally lampooned by Google but in a recent statement Google said that certain changes undertaken by T-Mobile had put their issues to rest enough to join. Here’s what Google say T-Mobile have done to improve Binge On since the two companies began talks:
- Improving notice and choice for users: T-Mobile has been clarifying for users what ‘optimisation’ means as well as the impact of turning Binge On on or off. And for those who want to turn it off, they’ve made it easier to do so — rather than having to click through a series of menu items, users can now turn the setting off with an SMS short code and with two clicks from the T-Mobile app and one click from the my.tmobile.com site. Any user can toggle Binge On off and on, and the change will take effect within minutes — which significantly improves the experience.
- Improving information and choice for video services: While T-Mobile has always stated that any video service can join the program at no charge, prior to our discussions, video services were not given a choice about whether their streams would be managed by T-Mobile if they did not join the program. Going forward, any video service meeting traffic-identification requirements will be able to opt-out, and T-Mobile will stop including them in the Binge On program and will no longer modify their video streams. In addition, T-Mobile will now work with video services that wish to optimise their own streams, using an average data rate limit. This allows video services to offer users an improved video experience, even at lower data rates, by taking advantage of innovations such as video compression technology, benefitting T-Mobile, their customers, and video providers.
In a statement on their blog, Google said: “We think these changes, which T-Mobile is making for all users and video providers on a non-preferential basis, can help ensure that the program works well for all users and the entire video ecosystem. As a result, YouTube and Google Play Movies & TV are participating in Binge On. Starting today, if you’re a T-Mobile user with Binge On enabled, when you watch YouTube or a movie or TV show on Google Play, it won’t count against your data cap. We hope our users enjoy this new option.”