A new report from Strategy Analytics backs up T-Mobile’s previous claims about the popularity of its Binge On program. But with the rise of T-Mobile ONE, the implications of the offering’s popularity for T-Mobile’s new unlimited plan remain unclear.
According to Strategy Analytics, 99 percent of T-Mobile customers using its zero-rated Binge On video service claimed to be satisfied with 480p video quality offered on the platform. Additionally, 20 percent of Binge On users said they upgraded their plan to take advantage of the video offering.
But Strategy Analytics found Binge On was also a draw for customers of competing wireless carriers. The report said 68 percent of rival wireless customers indicated strong or moderate interest in a similar service and 14 percent of users said they were either very or extremely interested in switching to T-Mobile to gain access to Binge On’s zero-rated video streaming. An additional 32 percent of rival customers said they were moderately interested in switching on Binge On’s account.
The report supports previous claims from T-Mobile about the success of the program, which the Un-carrier claimed also doubled the amount of video consumed by customers.
“The survey results prove that Binge On has been a success for T-Mobile, helping to raise its ARPU, increase mobile video usage and to give US smartphone owners another reason to consider switching to T-Mobile,” Strategy Analytics Vice President David Kerr said. “Binge On has proved an important stage in the evolution from Simple Choice tariffs to T-Mobile One.”
Announced in August and launched earlier this month, T-Mobile ONE is the Un-carrier’s new $70 plan – it’s only plan – offering unlimited everything to customers.
Like Binge On, the base T-Mobile ONE plan offers unlimited video in 480p, though an upgrade offering high-definition video is available. Existing customers who don’t upgrade from their Simple Choice plans will continue to have access to Binge On, a T-Mobile spokeswoman said Monday.
The spokeswoman said the new plan marks the next step past Binge On, alleviating the need to keep track of gigabyte allowances and which sites were included in the free streaming.
But the question remains whether the popularity of Binge On will transfer to T-Mobile’s new sole unlimited plan.
Recon Analytics founder Roger Entner said thinks it will.
According to Entner, T-Mobile’s old plan setup didn’t offer Binge On with its entry level tier anyway, meaning customers who would have switched to get the offering would have jumped on to its $65 6GB plan or higher – a price point very near that offered with the new unlimited plan.
But that doesn’t mean it’s all an upside for the Un-carrier, Entner said.
“I think it will be very popular because you can watch as much video as you want to,” Entner said. “But ultimately I think (T-Mobile ONE) will hurt them because there’s no more $50 (entry level) option. At T-Mobile it’s either $70 or the highway.”
T-Mobile has yet to release actual figures related to its T-Mobile ONE launch, but CEO John Legere on Twitter has said overall porting ratios for the third quarter have surpassed those from the first and second quarters.
A T-Mobile spokeswoman on Monday said T-Mobile is expecting a big response to the new unlimited plan.
“We saw tremendous interest with Binge On, and we expect the same to continue with T-Mobile ONE,” the spokeswoman said. “Over 1 million people in social media alone told us they wanted unlimited data – and we listened.”
T-Mobile, along with the other carriers, is expected to report its third quarter results next month.