Every year brings with it its own smartphone controversies, and we wrapped up 2015 with a pretty big one, as T-Mobile introduced its love-it-or-hate-it Binge On service for streaming video. On the surface, it sounded alright: T-Mobile would let users stream content from a number of popular providers without that data counting against their plan allotment. All those users had to put up with for that privilege was slightly downgraded video quality. But then we started looking closer, and there were all these issues: why were users being enrolled automatically, rather than Binge On being opt-in? And why did T-Mobile appear to be throttling services like YouTube, which wasn’t a part of Binge On in the first place? It’s been a rocky few months, but T-Mobile’s clearly making progress in improving Binge On’s acceptance; today we’re checking out one big milestone it’s reached, as YouTube officially signs up for Binge On.
In making its announcement, Google doesn’t shy away from its early clashes with T-Mobile over Binge On, and references a number of ways it’s seen the Binge On situation improve: those include the simplified Binge On controls we saw debut back in January, as well as a formal process by which content providers can opt-out of Binge On, preventing the sort of issue we initially saw with YouTube.
YouTube is just one of several new services coming to Binge On today, including Google Play Movies, Discovery GO, and even the first adult-oriented service to register with Binge On, MiKandi.
Currently, T-Mobile reports that no providers have taken it up on its offer to let them opt out of Binge On throttling. At least the option’s there for when one does.