Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) is working with T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) to make its video technically compliant with the carrier's Binge On offering, Recode reported late Thursday.
Binge On enables T-Mobile customers to watch video from nearly 90 content providers without having an impact on their monthly data allotments. The carrier "optimizes" Binge On content, essentially throttling it, to ease the load on its network.
T-Mobile says the program is open to any video provider – the company added its first adult video provider in March – but the content must meet specific technical requirements that enable the carrier to identify it. YouTube, for instance, wasn't a partner at the launch of Binge On in October but was added in January after meeting T-Mobile's technical requirements.
Recode, citing unnamed sources, said Facebook and T-Mobile have been working together "for some time" to add the social network's video to the program. Some T-Mobile users earlier this year reported receiving a message saying "Facebook with Free Data" when they logged into their accounts on the social network, according to a report by TmoNews, but the operator said it had no sponsored data offering, unlike Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T (NYSE: T).
While Binge On is zero-rated, content providers don't pay mobile data costs. Rather than directly generating revenue, the program is designed to grow the carrier's subscriber base.
Facebook said in January that it was delivering 100 million hours of daily video watch time, and video advertising helped drive a 57 percent year-over-year jump in ad revenue during the first quarter of 2016. Mobile ads accounted for roughly 80 percent of that revenue, the company said.
Meanwhile, Binge On continues to gain traction among T-Mobile users even as it draws flak from critics who say it runs afoul of net neutrality principles. T-Mobile said this week that customers have streamed more than 500 million hours of video since its November launch, up from the 190 million hours it reported in early April. Facebook could see its mobile video advertising swell noticeably by making its video content available through T-Mobile's zero-rated service.
- read this Recode report
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