Verizon Wireless last week started pitching an alternative to T-Mobile’s Binge On free mobile streaming service. But how does go90 stack up against the competition?
Go90 (pictured above) is Verizon Wireless’ all-in-one mobile entertainment app. It offers live sports, live music, original shows and popular TV episodes — 21,000 titles to be exact. The service also boasts 50 exclusive original series on its roster.
The United States’ largest wireless carrier announced Friday that all post-paid customers can watch go90 video content on Verizon’s network any time — and for free. By participating in Verizon’s FreeBee Data 360 data service, consumers can watch all the video they want via the app and it won’t count toward their data caps.
How Is go90 Different?
“We are just in the very early stages of the mobile video revolution. It will take many shapes and those will change over time,” Jeff Kagan, an independent telecom analyst, told us. “Verizon go90 seems to be following the success of T-Mobile Binge On.”
Go90 is based on the FreeBee Data 360 service, which has two models. Content providers can sign up to offer consumers access to mobile content without cutting into the users’ data plans. Alternatively, content providers can sponsor consumer viewing on a per-click basis, again free to the consumer. Content providers are billed on a per-gigabit pricing structure.
“With one in three Americans now watching videos on their smartphone, and another 100 million on tablets, the business case for mobile is clear,” said Colson Hillier, vice president of consumer products at Verizon, in a statement. Verizon is billing FreeBee Data as unique in the market because it’s not a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy.
Is Binge On Better?
Some consumers may prefer T-Mobile’s Binge On because Verizon’s free streaming service doesn’t include Netflix, Hulu or YouTube, according to Kagan. So users who want to watch the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy or Scandal, will still have to turn to Hulu and that will count against their data stores.
“These two services are not equal competitors,” Kagan said. “They both take a different flavor.”
Launched in November, Binge On initially allowed consumers to freely stream video from HBO, Hulu, Netflix, Showtime, Sling TV, STARZ, WatchESPN and other cable providers to which they subscribed. Binge On is now adding other big brands to the lineup.
Amazon Video, WWE Network, Fox News, Univision Now from Univision Communications are the latest additions, bringing Binge On’s total to 40 video streaming services. It’s likely that Verizon will add more content going forward, but it seems T-Mobile has the stronger service out of the gate.
“I think we can expect all carriers to move in this direction,” Kagan said. “Currently we see AT&T with DirecTV and U-verse, Verizon with FiOS and Go90, T-Mobile with Binge On and we can expect more to come. This is just the beginning.”
Image Credit: Phones and screenshots courtesy of Verizon.
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