T-Mobile (TMUS 1.72%) expanded its Binge On video streaming and Music Freedom streaming services this week, adding an additional 16 content sources to its large portfolio of online content.
You may recall that the company's Binge On service allows T-Mobile customers to stream video content from apps that doesn't count against their monthly data amounts. When customers opt-in to Binge On, video quality is reduced to 480p (and sometimes better, T-Mobile says) and users can then watch as much content as they want without using any data.
The company's Music Freedom works similarly, with users able to stream music from popular apps like Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, and now Amazon Music, without using any data.
This week's announcement means T-Mobile now offers 100 content sources that won't eat into T-Mobile customers' data. But are these services really being used?
How much T-Mobile customers are tapping into these services
Sometimes it's hard to tell whether a company's promotions are really being used or not. But with T-Mobile, it's pretty clear.
Here's how Binge On and Music Freedom statistics have played out:
- Since Music Freedom's launch, 90 billion songs have been streamed so far.
- 210 million songs are streamed everyday.
- T-Mobile customers (that aren't on unlimited data plants) are are watching 2 times more content from the Binge On services than they had previously.
- Over 190 million hours of video have been streamed so far.
- T-Mobile says customers have saved 350 petabytes (350 million gigabytes) of streaming data since both services launched.
Those impressive usage numbers come because T-Mobile has targeted popular video and music services, and continues to expand both programs' reach. Right now, 96% of the sources T-Mobile customers stream their music from are covered under Music Freedom, and 70% of video content sources are covered. And with T-Mobile just adding YouTube into its Binge On program last month, it's likely that some of the video usage statistics are about to go up even higher.
How this translates into a win for T-Mobile
T-Mobile's tapping into ongoing mobile video and music streaming trends. From 2013 to 2016, the number of U.S. mobile phone video viewers increased from 76.7 million to 117 million, and it's expected to climb to about 137 million by 2019. And U.S. mobile phone users spend an average of 26 minutes everyday watching mobile video.
Music and video streaming apps are the second- and third-most-popular entertainment app categories for mobile devices, according to Nielsen.
Part of T-Mobile's growth over the past few years comes from the carrier handing out significant freebies to its customers through its Un-carrier events. Binge On and Music Freedom continue to be a big part of these freebies, and it's unlikely the carrier will hit the brakes on services like this any time soon. Both are a great way to lure new customers in and give existing customers a reason to stick around.
And so far it seems to be working: T-Mobile overtook Sprint as the nation's third-largest carrier this past summer, and the carrier has brought in more than 1 million net customers each quarter for the past 11 quarters. Binge On and Music Freedom don't deserve all the credit for that, of course. But based on the usage stats above and their ever-increasing reach, they're definitely a key piece to T-Mobile's recent success.