T-Mobile’s Binge On program has seen its fair share of criticism. The program, which lets users stream video from select providers without counting against their data plans, has drawn the ire of YouTube and the Electronic Frontier Foundation for throttling videos and prioritizing data streams. But one video provider is perfectly happy with customers getting free streaming.
During yesterday’s Netflix earnings call, after the video streaming company announced more than 5.5 million new subscribers, CEO Reed Hastings praised T-Mobile’s program and said users have been streaming more video due to the program.
“The great thing that T-Mo is doing is making unlimited video consumption a possibility with freedom from worrying about the data caps,” Hastings said. “It’s seeing a great reception amongst our users and we are seeing viewing going up and I think T-Mo was seeing some real positive benefits from that.”
He also said that while he doesn’t have enough detail on the new Verizon program that offers data exemptions for certain content, “we hope those kind of programs expand.”
Re/code’s Peter Kafka, who interviewed Hastings during the call, pushed back, wondering why Hastings sees T-Mobile’s plan as OK when he bashed a similar move from Comcast. Hastings defended Binge On because of the user control T-Mobile provides over the system. He also praised T-Mobile for making the program open to any provider.
“They are not charging any of their providers, it’s an open program,” Hastings said. “Many of our competitors such as Hulu and HBO are in the program also. But it’s an open, no-charge program where they are really focused on trying to get the customers some [benefits] and then you get unlimited viewing which, you know, their customers are choosing in droves.”