T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) has been busy adding new partners to its Binge On service -- which allows customers to stream video without eating into their monthly data allotments -- and it appears Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) may be next on the list.
According to a recent Recode article, T-Mobile and Facebook have been in talks for a while to bring the social media company on board with Binge On, but are still trying to work out the technical details of the partnership. If the rumors prove true, it'll be another big win for T-Mobile, which now boasts HBO, Netflix, YouTube, ESPN, PBS, and about 90 other video content providers for Binge On.
And T-Mobile clearly benefits with the more partners it brings on board. Customers get to use the video apps they normally would (minus HD-quality streaming) without burning through any of their LTE data for the month.
It's perks like this that have boosted T-Mobile's net customer additions over the past few years. T-Mobile added 2.2 million net customers in the most recent quarter, marking 12 straight quarters of 1 million or more net adds, and the sixth time in seven quarters that it's added 2 million or more.
This is about Facebook video, too
Of course, the possible deal could benefit Facebook as well. At the end of 2014, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that in five years' time, most of Facebook would be video. More recently Zuckerberg said, "I just think that we're going to be in a world a few years from now where the vast majority of the content that people consume online will be video." And Facebook is well on its way.
Facebook users in the U.S. are posting 94% more videos than they did last year, and that number is up 75% worldwide. This contributes to about 8 billion daily video views on Facebook and Facebook users spend three times the amount of time watching a Facebook Live video as they do non-live videos.
Being added to T-Mobile's Binge On would help Facebook promote its video features while helping to remove the barrier for data-conscious users. And that, in turn, could lead to even more video usage.
I think a Binge On partnership between the two companies could be much more beneficial for Facebook's investors than for T-Mobile's. Facebook would certainly be a big win for Binge On, but the service is already a clear success with so many other major content providers already signed on.
And while Facebook doesn't need any help building out its video offerings, being added to Binge On would take away the data barrier for some of its customers. T-Mobile is the third-largest carrier in the U.S. by customers, and it's still growing. If Facebook joins Binge On, then millions of Facebook users could potentially steam video without the barrier of using any of their monthly data. That's a huge deal for people watching Facebook videos and broadcasting themselves regularly.
Neither company has confirmed that there's a partnership in the works, but with video quickly becoming a main focus for both T-Mobile and Facebook, I think it's more likely than not that we'll find out something definitive very soon.