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.