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YouTube joins Binge On, will handle optimization instead of T-Mobile
YouTube was the biggest content provider missing from the Binge On catalog. The Google subsidiary and T-Mobile have quarreled over the way T-Mobile downgrades streaming quality of all streaming services, regardless if they are included in Binge On or not, down to 480p. The “Un-carrier” defended this practice by saying it’s merely optimizing video traffic for cellular connections. But critics complained that the option to enable video optimization should not be on by default and argued that T-Mobile is playing fast and loose with net neutrality rules.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere publicly invited YouTube to talks and it looks like the two parties found a compromise. Starting today, YouTube will be part of Binge On, meaning that users who opted for the service won’t pay anything for the traffic generated by YouTube.
7/ @TMobile has been listening to customers and thanks to a little partnership, @YouTube is now a #BingeOn partner!https://t.co/VQVZoM86Jh— John Legere (@JohnLegere) March 17, 2016
There is more: YouTube, not T-Mobile, will optimize the video streams. Legere says that this arrangement will give YouTube more control over its content and that other providers will be able to do the same in the future.
Also, content providers are now able to opt out of the optimization scheme – that means that, if they want to stream in 4K, they will be able to do so, of course, as long as T-Mobile’s subscribers are happy to pay for this luxury. T-Mobile says it will publish the content providers that opt out of optimization on its website.
Other video providers coming to Binge On today include Fox Business, Red Bull TV, and Discovery Go, bringing the total number of services available up to 50.
John Legere used the occasion to hawk Binge On to both users (“our customers are watching two times more video each day than before Binge On”) and to content providers (“one of our top video services has seen the number of active users spike an impressive 90% since launch.”) The boisterous executive also promised that more change is coming to “this arrogant industry” calling out the “duopoly” of Verizon and AT&T.
Are you excited about YouTube joining Binge On? Let us know your thoughts.