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Google Play Music, Spotify, TIDAL & more join T-Mobile’s Binge On

TechCrunch TechCrunch 17/05/2016 Sarah Perez

T-Mobile is again expanding its Binge On program, with news this morning that a number of video services, including Google Play Music, NBC, TIDAL, Spotify, Radio Disney and others, will now be made available for streaming without impacting customers’ data plans. Some of these companies were previously available under T-Mobile’s Music Freedom plan, but had not yet signed up for video. With the new addition, T-Mobile says it now supports over 80 video providers via Binge On.

The full lineup of new additions includes Google Play Music, Great Big Story, NBC, Kiswe, Ligonier Ministries, NOGGIN (Nickelodeon), Qello Concerts, Radio Disney, Univision, Univision Noticias, Spotify, TIDAL, and Toon Goggles.

The company already supports most major video services like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, WatchESPN, HBO Now, and others.

Spotify is one of the more notable names on this lineup, having only expanded into video earlier this year. In a “shows” section, the company aggregates content from providers like ESPN, Comedy Central, VICE, the BBC, MTV, ABC News, NBC, Wired, TED and others. More recently, the company unveiled a dozen music-themed original programs, as part of its efforts at growing its video service.

Google Play Music’s involvement is also not surprising, given that T-Mobile and Google finally came to an agreement following Google’s criticism of this program.

The company had refused to participate previously, as it said T-Mobile was unfairly throttling video services without user consent. T-Mobile then made several adjustments to how the program operated, including improvements to customer notice and choice and tools that make it easier to turn the service on and off – which can now be done via its website or via an SMS text.

More importantly, T-Mobile now permits some larger video services to opt out of having their streams modified by T-Mobile. They can instead choose to optimize their streams themselves.

As a result of these changes, Google agreed to participate in the program. In March, both Google Play Movies & TV and YouTube became available via Binge On. 

By not counting video streaming toward customers’ data plans, usage of video services has grown across T-Mobile’s network. The company claims that customers have now streamed over 377 million hours of video over the past six months, and are watching up to 2 times more from the participating providers. A company survey also indicated that 94 percent said they would try a new online service if its offering free streaming.

“In the six months since we launched Binge On, the number of video providers streaming free without using your data has grown more than 240%,” said T-Mobile president and CEO John Legere, in a statement. “We’ve got something for everyone, and customers never have to worry about getting slammed with ridiculous overage penalties.”

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