T-Mobile adds another 16 new OTTs to its Zero-rated music and video platforms
The Uncarrier has re-written the rule book with its Music Freedom and Binge On programs for zero-rated music and video respectively. It looks like there is no stopping T-Mobile’s Legere, check out some of the specs he talks about in his latest video blog:
- Since Music Freedom launched, T-Mobile customers have streamed 90 billion songs for free.
- Today, T-Mobile customers are streaming 210 million songs every single day without using a drop of high-speed data.
- With Binge On, T-Mobile customers are watching 2X more from free streaming sites on plans with limited data and have streamed over 190 million hours of video for free.
- With Music Freedom and Binge On together, T-Mobile customers have saved over 350 petabytes of high-speed data.
Music Freedom was introduced in June 2014 as T-Mobile’s 6th major Un-carrier move. With Music Freedom, T-Mobile customers can stream all the music they want — without using up the data cap– at no extra charge. When launched, Music Freedom included seven music streaming services.
Starting today, Amazon Music, Chilltrax, ESPN Radio, OHIO.FM, PreDanz and Uforia are now zero rated music to T-Mobile customers. Altogether more than 40 services – including the top streaming services and a wide array of niche and regional providers – are part zero rated music, covering a full 96% of all music streamed by T-Mobile customers. Music Freedom is completely free to customers and providers.
Binge On and Music Freedom, now cover all of the big streaming destinations, and quite a few smaller ones, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, YouTube, SlingTV, Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music, Google Music, HBO Now, Rhapsody, and many more.
Will regulators intervene? They did in India!
Heartless Regulators Want Cell Companies to End Free Data and Streaming Video Benefits Zero rating data, the latest marketing offering from mobile operators allows brands and content providers to make content available for free to mobile customers.
While most would argue that free, is a good thing, there are a dissenting few who say that these programs limit competition, are unfair, and violate the FCC net neutrality rules. They argue that zero rating gives certain content providers an unfair advantage over others that don’t participate because their programming does not eat into customers’ data allowance.
The FCC is concerned that some content is given favorable treatment over others because a provider pays for better placement. But it’s clear that this is not happening with these particular programs in question; users can access any content they want, as quickly as the provider can handle.
In the past Toll-free calling is perhaps the best example of this within the telecom space. Zero-rating is hardly different than many other customer-service business strategies, but it does have the potential to connect entire communities, improve digital literacy in low-income communities and bridge the digital divide. According to a Pew Research report released last year, 64% of Americans own a smart phone and many rely on these devices as their only access point to the Internet, a resource that is quickly becoming as essential to modern life as running water and electricity. It’s hard not to view these perks for what they are: a benefit to customers and an opportunity for competitors to stand out in the marketplace.