T-Mobile’s Binge On program may be controversial, but that doesn’t mean the Bellevue, Wash.-based carrier is giving up on the program. In fact, they’re adding to it, announcing today that four new services are available through the program.
T-Mobile customers can now stream video from Amazon Video, Fox News, Univision NOW, and WWE Network without taking a hit to their monthly data allowances. That’s in addition to apps like HBO Now, Hulu and Netflix. There are now more than 40 video streaming services in the program.
The company reports that customers in the program are watching more than twice the video since the Binge On was introduced. So far, customers have streamed more than 34 million gigabytes of free video, which is a boon for streaming platforms as well. Last week, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings gave the program a shout-out, saying that he hopes services like this pop up from other carriers.
Even video services that aren’t in the program have seen increased streaming, with one major service seeing 33 percent more hours spent streaming. While those videos cost against a customer’s data plan, the Binge On stream supposedly uses a third of the data of traditional video streams, which encourages customers to watch more video without worrying as much about their data plan.
However, not everyone is happy about the smaller streams, especially companies like YouTube who feel that their customers aren’t getting the control they might want while watching video. While Binge On has always been an optional service, T-Mobile did turn it on by default when the program started, only letting customers turn it off through their account page.
Now, T-Mobile is making the switch a little easier. Customers can just dial a number to turn the program on or off. If you want to turn Binge On off, dial #BOF# (#263#) and hit send. If you want to turn it back on again, dial #BON# (#266#). If you’re not sure if Binge On is on or off, dial #BNG# (#264#).
That should calm some companies’ fears about the program, but net neutrality advocates may not be satisfied. The program could still push customers toward using video services rather than other forms of data use, and prioritize Binge On program partners over companies that haven’t joined the open program.