Netflix CEO voices support for Binge On, says viewing is going up

netflixceoreedhastings

Binge On has been the target of a lot of criticism lately, with the likes of the EFF and YouTube voicing their complaints about the service. Things are a little different today, though, because a major company has voiced its support of T-Mobile’s video streaming program.

During Netflix’s Q4 2015 earnings interview, CEO Reed Hastings was asked if Netflix plans on participating in the Verizon FreeBee sponsored data program like they’re a part of Binge On. Hastings responded by saying that he’s not aware of the details of FreeBee and then talking up Binge On, describing it as a “really unique program” that’s caused Netflix viewing to go up and saying that he hopes programs like these expand.

When asked why he’s comfortable being a part of Binge On but previously spoke out against Comcast data caps, Hastings explained that T-Mobile customers can toggle Binge On off and on. The Netflix CEO went on to say that anyone can join Binge On, just like competitors Hulu and HBO have.

Because Binge On enables T-Mobile customers to watch as much Netflix as they’d like, and because T-Mo users are watching more Netflix with Binge On enabled, it’s no surprise that the CEO of Netflix is a fan of Binge On. What’s notable about Reed Hastings’ stance on Binge On is that, as The Verge notes, he’s previously come out in support of net neutrality, a principle that some think Binge On violates. Netflix has also come out against zero rating — which Binge On is — by saying that it “has the potential to distort consumer choice in favor of choices selected by an ISP” and that it’ll go against such efforts.

Considering all of the flak that T-Mobile and Binge On have caught lately, I’m sure that John Legere and Co. are pretty happy to get a public endorsement from the CEO of the of the most well-known video services around. There will still be complaints about Binge On, though. And while it remains to be seen what, if anything, T-Mobile will do to assuage those concerns, it does sound like T-Mobile is testing ways to more quickly and easily disable and enable Binge On.

To listen to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings discuss Binge On, check out the video above.

Via: The Verge
Source: YouTube

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  • John Doe

    A company that is part of a program since its inception says that they support said program…You don’t say.

  • davidofmidnight

    How is this even news?

    • gpt2010

      How is this not for T-Mobile? This website isn’t CNN or Fox News.

      • riverhorse

        this.

    • riverhorse

      This…………….NOT!!!!!–

  • Adrayven

    Basically, not surprise. Netflix’s issue was with consumer choice when it came to something like this. As long as it is something the customer can control; it’s fine.

    • Fabian Cortez

      Exactly.

      The choice exists between the customer and their service provider.

      • riverhorse

        This

    • riverhorse

      Thiss

    • John Doe

      He doesn’t give a crap about Net neutrality if a program gets more traffic to Netflix without him paying for it than he won’t complain. Youtube on the other hand is the biggest video streaming service on the planet and came out against said program because they have principles and they support net neutrality.

      • Thorhand

        Are you still here disgorging your vile bile about Binge On and fighting for your dead case of Net Neutrality? Wow you really know how to lobby. I’m surprised Donald Trump hasn’t hired you as his campaign manager yet. You and him really know how to make compelling arguments.

        • John Doe

          “disgorging your vile bile about Binge On” T-Mobile did that all on its own i just shined a light on the bile LoL

      • TechnoRealz

        They didn’t like the downgrade of the stream but yet it still brought them more viewers – what’s the problem? Yes, it’s a PR stunt by YT. Nothing more.

        • John Doe

          Who are you talking about? Youtube has not said how many viewers they get from T-Mobile and besides why would it bring them more viewers when it is not part of Binge On and still counts against your data.

  • vinnyjr

    If you can’t figure out how to shut it on/off then you shouldn’t own a smartphone. Couldn’t be any easier! Thank You T-Mobile, Thank You John Legere.

    • Ohh

      I understand your point, it isn’t hard to figure out how to turn on/off the service. But many people aren’t that smart, that’s why they need smartphone b/c the phone is smarter than them. Case in point “Juan Carlos Tejada” need some type of switch that simple as a light switch, so he can turn in on/off easily. Believe me some people really don’t know how to screw a light bulb, they just know how to use it.

      • PC_Tool

        “But many people aren’t that smart”

        Isn’t an excuse to “dumb everything down”. It just isn’t. To a point, things shouldn’t be made more difficult than necessary, but moving one option, in a rational, reasonable, and logical location, somewhere else because “Juan” is too clueless or lazy to figure it out isn’t helping anyone. Especially “Juan”.

        “People are idiots” is just a cop-out argument to begin with.

        *not necessarily Juan.

        • Juan Carlos Tejada

          Slow down cowboy…

          When using T-Mobile app, or website, “error message”, over the phone, kidding me?, last time spent over 53mins.

        • PC_Tool

          Try a different browser or a different device.

          FYI: I’m not the one trying to claim people are idiots. It’s a cop-out and just plain bad form. People are smart. If they couldn’t figure out a toggle switch, we’d have died out long ago.

          You were the example due to the lack of details in your post causing an assumption by the folks I replied to that you were too stupid to find it. I continued using you as the example and for that, I apologize. Sub “Juan” with anyone else or whatever.

          Oh, and I’m not a cowboy. Couldn’t ride a horse if I tried. ;-)

        • Juan Carlos Tejada

          Lol, no problem……my bad, missed the details, forgot, I even try twitter.
          I’m a gig-eater, grandfathered plan, which I’m a target.
          My wife has the 3gigs plan, so this BingeOn plan is great for her, but, to just double-check if this feature is On, was time wasted.

        • riverhorse

          Not even reverse cowgirl? JK

        • PC_Tool

          I guess that would depend on the cowboy. ;-)

        • riverhorse

          Wow! The maximum time í spend on anything at once(save for the unmentionable), is @ half that 53 min….and that’s in extreme circumstances. Not on commute, not @ work, not even sports(which í watch a lot of).
          Repent and change your ways…or your life will end very soon, on the ☎.

    • JTrip

      Keep in mind that a lot of people don’t know that it’s on. If it weren’t for this site which I visit about twice a day, I wouldn’t have even known about Binge On.

      • Fabian Cortez

        I chose to turn it off the first day of trying it because I like to cast HBO Now and Netflix to my TV. The video didn’t stream as well when casting to a big screen. I’m sure if I was on the go somewhere watching on my phone I probably wouldn’t notice.

        Right. They wouldn’t know because they haven’t noticed a difference.

        Add in all the advertising over radio and television and the customer then assumes they have this benefit, which they do due to the auto opt in status. The same goes for international roaming, music freedom, etc.

        For those that don’t like it, they have the choice to opt out, which is good for consumers due to choice.

        • Saul Viayra

          I chose to turn it off because in my note 5 I can tell the difference between 480p and 1080p plus I’m On a unlimited plan

        • Fabian Cortez

          And you’re reacting and choosing as intended.

        • Saul Viayra

          Agreed but to me it does not make sense for unlimited data customers I know it helps others but it should not be on by default at least on unlimited customers

        • Fabian Cortez

          Unlimited users gain the ability to tether unlimited video content to their laptops, TVs, etc. and get a free VUDU movie a month for all of 2016.

          Again, if the user doesn’t want it, they can turn it off.

        • Saul Viayra

          Don’t need to tether don’t use vudu and it shouldn’t be turned on by default again I realize that is helping others But not all want what they call help

        • Fabian Cortez

          Don’t need to tether don’t use vudu and it shouldn’t be turned on by default again I realize that is helping others But not all want what they call help

          I think you’re missing the point. This is added value for the money that is paid. When you offer something as substantial as this, you want to opt people in automatically so that all your subscribers can benefit. Those that are uninterested, such as yourself, can opt out.

          In fact, BTIG Research pointed this out:

          “…If a T-Mobile consumer opts out of Binge On, they are no worse off than they were before the promotion was launched…. Why prevent a cost-conscious consumer the ability to use one toggle that will compress all their video and save them money rather than forcing that consumer to look for that toggle switch in each application or browser that they use?””

        • Saul Viayra

          I get it I don’t represent no-one but my self and I want full speed all day everyday I’m gonna tell you why, here in Indy T-Mobile is great been a happy customer for around 4 years and suddenly on brake time at work I could not Watch YouTube videos without Buffering like crazy I didn’t get an email Or text some people have told me that Does two were sent To all customers somehow I didn’t get them it took me a week to figure out That this was my issue my three Phones are flagships nexus 6p, Note 5 and v10 i love To watch videos on 1080p some Times 1440 and like my self there is a lot of people that have the issue I had and still don’t know about the binge on switch I’m happy for everyone out there taking this as something good but it wasn’t for me and I’m not the only one

        • Fabian Cortez

          So what did you end up doing?

        • Saul Viayra

          Please pay attention

      • StevenM

        My sentiments are the same. People watching videos for the content, not counting pixels. I can’t tell the difference either. Despite being on an unlimited plan, I choose to leave it on.

        • JTrip

          I chose to turn it off the first day of trying it because I like to cast HBO Now and Netflix to my TV. The video didn’t stream as well when casting to a big screen. I’m sure if I was on the go somewhere watching on my phone I probably wouldn’t notice.

        • donnybee

          Casting to another device would mean you’re on wifi, which means Binge On isn’t active. So you wouldn’t have seen a difference whether it was on or off.

        • JTrip

          That’s interesting. I wonder why it was choppier then? Maybe just a fluke at the time.

        • donnybee

          Could’ve been. I turned mine off because I’m on unlimited, but would definitely keep it on if I was on a limited high speed plan. BingeOn is actually really awesome

        • StevenM

          You don’t necessarily have to be on Wifi to cast to another device. If you connect a Chromecast (or any other streaming media device) to your mobile hotspot and you have an unlimited data plan, you have unlimited streaming through the mobile hotspot as long as the source is part of Binge On and Binge On is enabled.

        • Matt

          I’m a MetroPCS unlimited data customer and I leave the Data Maximizer (Binge On) on as well. For smartphones, the difference is virtually negligible and it’s preserving a finite resource.

  • Ohh

    Yep, I think they need to simplify the on/off method for a lot of people.

    • DREBOOGIEBX

      this debate borders on stupid now. Turn the flippin thing off if u dont want it on. i have a hard time believing that the same stupid people who cant figure out how to turn it off , can tell the difference between 480p and 720. on a 5 inch smartphone. Seriously , move on to something else.

      • Fabian Cortez

        this debate borders on stupid now. Turn the flippin thing off if u dont want it on. i have a hard time believing that the same stupid people who cant figure out how to turn it off , can tell the difference between 480p and 720. on a 5 inch smartphone. Seriously , move on to something else.

        My sentiments exactly!

      • donnybee

        +1

  • Juan Carlos Tejada
  • kgraham182

    Of course the CEO of Netflix loves an un-feature that limits video quality and maximizes saving since Netflix pays a lot to CDNs.

  • Paul

    I’m rooted, no “switch” per se.
    No comment.

    • Fabian Cortez

      Being rooted doesn’t affect a network feature such as Binge On.

      The “switch” is located in your online account and/or can be turned off using shortcodes.

      • riverhorse

        This.

      • Paul

        The only references I found were in regards to the T-Mobile app on the phone.
        I appreciate the info and will look via browser.

        Otherwise, the quality I’ve seen is what i expect of my Note 5.

    • riverhorse

      Per se.

      • Paul

        Touche, was in a hurry to type.

    • Ascertion

      Do you mean the short codes don’t work on your rooted ROM? Because the switch are the short codes.

      • Paul

        Correct. Tried to no avail. BUT the dev that did the ROM likely removed it.

        Not a concern since the quality is what I’d expect of a Note 5.

  • Walt

    T-mobile should make an unlimited plan with binge on permanently enabled. ALL video quality would be limited to 480p. Make it $80 per month

  • walt

    T-Mobile should start a new unlimited plan with binge-on permanently enabled. ALL video will stream at 480p. Make the plan $80 per month

    • Guest 2

      To force video providers to adjust to 480p (if they can) T-Mobile has to throttle the speeds to 1.5 Mbps and it has to do that to a range of applications. So unlimited data at 1.5 Mbps should cost much less than $80, I say $55 would be appropriate.

      Who wants unlimited at 1.5Mbps for $55?

      • Walt

        Not me. Thats why i roll with metro’s $60 unlimited plan. What i ment was the vast majority of people could are less about 1.5 mbps speed. They hear “unlimited data” for less than $95 and will switch to that

  • riverhorse

    EXACTLY PER YOUR QUOTE!
    That’s why you’re getting the error messages.

  • Walt

    any word on if/when YouTube will be joining the festivities?

    • Brad

      doubtful after the tempter tantrum they just had

  • ssjchaseutley

    Makes sense. If you’re a pay service, you’d be wise to latch onto the incentive that another company is providing so that in turn, will provide more subscribers.

    This is why Youtube is sort’ve stupid….aren’t they pushing their ad free service and if so, shouldn’t you welcome what T-Mobile is doing…?

  • francob911 .

    But why have Binge On in customers with unlimited data? What benefit do we get especially when we buy phones with a 2K display? What’s the point?

    • calvin35

      The point is to help out T-Mobile by throttling as many of us as they can. Seriously, that’s it, nothing else.

      • francob911 .

        In other words it doesn’t benefit the unlimited data customers at all

        • Mike

          If your an unlimited data customer u can do unlimited tethering to your tv, laptop, and etc plus you get a free movie from VUDU each month. I’m on a unlimited plan and BINGE ON came in handy when I was on vacation for a week in a hotel that had slow wifi since a bunch of hotel guest are on it. When I got back home I turned off Binge on.

        • Moe

          Lmao i can see someone use tethering like a boss and them them crashing the servers LMAO!!

      • TechnoRealz

        It helps the network that the people who pay TMO to share efficiently unlike dumb azz like you who hog the bandwidth.

      • vinnyjr

        Is that why Verizon is implementing a plan like T-Mobile has but not nearly as good? Is Verizon looking to throttle all their customers as well? You obviously don’t know what you’re talking about. If not for T-Mobile every Carrier would be doing business as always, screwing the Customers. T-Mobile has implemented so many changes in the Mobile Industry, every Carrier is copying them. Thank You T-Mobile, Thank You John Legere.

    • UniBroW

      Because you can tether it to a chromecast or another device and watch netflix non-stop and various other video services. Stayed in a hotel recently, turned bing-on and watched some hulu. Wasn’t the greatest clarity but then again i was in a hotel and i didn’t have to worry about data usage. Got home and turned it back off, because unlimited data

      • calvin35

        T-Mobile already had a way to tell when the user was tethering. They could have only enabled Binge On for unlimited users when they were tethering if they wanted to but they didn’t because their goal, when it comes to unlimited users is to throttle as many of us as they can get away with. In fact that is the prime goal of Binge On, everything else is just a distraction.

        • TechnoRealz

          Bandwidth hog – good that they did that to YOU!

  • Walt

    Not me. Thats why i roll with metro’s $60 unlimited plan. But i mean the vast majority of people could are less about 1.5 mbps speed. They hear “unlimited data” for less than $95 and will switch to that

  • I was reading through Reed Hastings’ bio online. From an ancestry perspective, his family made a ton of money when the stock market collapsed, and used insider trading methods which are illegal today.

    He’s the kind of guy who sits in the corner and is happy someone found a way to deliver his product in a lower quality form.

    If you dig real deep, you’re likely to find a story about the family’s business in the 1800s. They made a lot of money working for a book publisher. After leaving printed copies of new publications on the dock to be rained on and get wet, the family still required the post office to pickup the outgoing shipment. However, that very day, the company adopted a new ‘company policy’ to not accept returns. They found that many people bought a second copy of the same book, which Reed’s wife’s family became fabulously wealthy on.