T-Mobile CEO Responds to 'Binge On’ Controversy, Announces 14 New Partners

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    T-Mobile CEO John Legere today wrote a letter in response to recent criticisms of the company's new free video streaming service "Binge On," claiming that the program does not permanently slow down data and that claims of throttling are just "playing semantics." Legere also reiterated the fact that users can opt out of the service at any time, and that anyone with the ability to access Binge On has "complete control" over the experience if they want higher than 480p resolution.

    In the rest of the letter, the CEO calls out media outlets for making Binge On into a negative story over the past few weeks, suggesting some places as "using Net Neutrality as a platform to get into the news." Legere compares the new service to T-Mobile's "Music Freedom" platform that launched in 2014, giving customers free music streaming that wouldn't affect data plan cost.

    In addition to reassuring customers, T-Mobile today announced a slate of fourteen new Binge On partners including: A&E, Lifetime, HISTORY Channel, and PlayStation Vue Live TV. The new additions bring the partner total to 38 and the company said that more than 50 providers are preparing to back the free streaming program in the months ahead.

    Since Binge On launched in November, the service's questionable video throttling of non-partner content has brought it under scrutiny multiple times. Just this week, an independent test proved that a smartphone with Binge On enabled throttled video streaming of services not affiliated with T-Mobile and the free initiative. CEO John Legere's response today is the second time the company has directly addressed Binge On's negative accusations, following a dispute with YouTube in December.

    Those interested can read Legere's full letter on T-Mobile's blog.

    Article Link: T-Mobile CEO Responds to 'Binge On' Controversy, Announces 14 New Partners
  2. sputnikv macrumors 6502


    Oct 3, 2009
    Who's content with 480p? It's 2016.
  3. street.cory macrumors 6502


    Oct 13, 2009
    I thought people were more confused and upset that T-Mobile made this feature opt-out instead of opt-in.
  4. captain cadet macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2012
    But if its an opt-out its just like the pornography filters that ISPs have to put on users accounts when they make an account by law as the UK doesn't want their own citizens looking at porn.
    Its awkward and slow to get it taken off so most people dont bother with removing them - in affect allowing the government to censor porn from us....
  5. Zwhaler macrumors 603


    Jun 10, 2006
    He might as well say we don't throttle* our customers! We optimize** your data stream!
  6. freepomme macrumors 6502a

    Oct 30, 2015
    Boston, MA
    It's not even a controversy. Binge-On is a great service for people who need it and want it. The only people who throttle is those other companies.
  7. WannaGoMac macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2007
    On a device with a 4-6" screen it's good quality. I doubt most people could tell difference between 720p and 480p on a 5" screen.
  8. sw1tcher macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    480p is more than fine on a 4" or 4.7" screen and good enough on a 5.5" screen, and especially so when the data is free. :p
  9. tys macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    I'm a T-Mobile customer and think this is great. As far as I can tell, from a practical end-user standpoint, this just changes the default video quality settings.
    Before almost everything would default to HD, and if I forgot to change it I would burn through huge chunks of data in very short order. Now I don't have to worry about it.
  10. Ries macrumors 68000

    Apr 21, 2007
    Yeah, no....

  11. keysofanxiety macrumors 604


    Nov 23, 2011
    Absolutely no way is that picture synonymous with 480p quality on a 5" screen.
  12. ram-it14 macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2015
    That is the most garbage side by side comparison I have ever seen.

    But yeah, no... nice try.
  13. azentropy macrumors 68000


    Jul 19, 2002
    Just wondering why they need partners if they are doing it to all content anyway? ;)
  14. furi0usbee macrumors 68000


    Jul 11, 2008
    1. Be very leery when a company says it's doing something to "benefit" the customer.

    2. This should be OPT-IN rather than OPT-OUT.

    3. I don't care what quality the stupid YouTube video I'm watching is.

    4. I'll watch Netflix on my TV or my computer.

    5. At least the guy comes off as genuine.
  15. cmChimera macrumors 68040


    Feb 12, 2010
    LMAO. We make your video look like crap as a BENEFIT!
  16. 2457282 Suspended

    Dec 6, 2012
  17. furi0usbee macrumors 68000


    Jul 11, 2008
    If someone doesn't beat me to it, later I'll post "actual" side-by-side so we can see how much difference there really is.
  18. sw1tcher macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    If you're a partner, data is free. If you're not a partner, data isn't free... it just uses less data due to 480p video quality
  19. magicman32 macrumors regular


    Dec 25, 2007
    Yeah... Except it doesn't (look like crap) on a phone.
  20. scoobydoo99 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2003
    so cal
    It's not just about the resolution. Under Binge On, data streaming is free. UNLESS, you want to stream content from a non-approved (i.e. non-partner) provider. In that case, you have to pay a fee for that content. This is the very definition of what the FCC's new Net Neutrality rules make illegal (e.g. "No paid prioritization")
  21. sw1tcher macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    You can hardly tell the difference between 480p and 720p or higher on a tiny 4" to 5.5" screen.
  22. ram-it14 macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2015
    Here's a screenshot from a video set to 480p on YouTube. If I was worried about my data consumption this would be adequate quality.

    Attached Files:

  23. jlc1978, Jan 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2016

    jlc1978 macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2009
    By making it opt-out, T-Moblie avoids a lot of problems with customers thinking their video isn't using data when it actually is. Most T-Mobile customers probably have little or no idea what Binge-On is other than it's "free video;" expecting them to understand they need to opt-in adds an unnecessary and confusing layer of complexity. Someone who wants the highest possible video is more likely to know how to change it than someone who simply wants good enough video. Thus, T-Mobile sets up the service as opt-out.
  24. BruiserB macrumors 65816

    Aug 9, 2008
    If they made it opt-in, then idiots would claim that they watched tons of Netflix last month because they thought it was free and didn't know they had to opt-in....they just thought it was free because they saw a commercial from T-mobile. Making it opt-out makes it work for most people and those that care and are more likely to know what they are doing can make a conscious decision to opt-out and have the data count against their plans if they want.
  25. furi0usbee macrumors 68000


    Jul 11, 2008
    What? Please correct me if I'm wrong. You always "pay" for your data (bandwidth) based on your plan. With a binge "partner" you simply DO NOT pay. If you opted out of binge, you still "pay" just as you do now.

    If there was no opt-out, this would be a violation of net neutrality with the partners and all and preference given to content providers who pay. It should be opt-in, but there is no net neutrality violations in any case.

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