Mobile viewing is set to overtake TV as the main way people watch their favourite shows, but most people binge at home for fear of maxing out their data. In response, British mobile provider Three has launched ‘Go Binge’, which exempts major streaming platforms like Netflix and Deezer from users’ monthly allowances. We explore the insights behind a mobile network's move to incorporate media habits into its plans.
After polling 5,000 customers, Three found out that over half worry about maxing out their data when binge-watching TV, while 72% of those watching via mobile only binge-watch at home. In response, the mobile network created ’Go Binge’, a plan that includes an unlimited streaming pass for Netflix, SoundCloud, Deezer and TVPlayer, so people can consume content on-the-go without worrying about hefty data charges being added to their bill.
What do media habits have to do with your mobile plan?
James Baker, Creative Commons (2017) ©
“Long gone are the days of the ‘second screen,’” says James Lodge, director of mobile at Fetch, a mobile strategy and app marketing agency. “We have our TVs passively playing in the background, but the majority of content we’re consuming is ten inches in front of our face.” But consuming content away from home can be expensive – according to Verizon, watching 30 minutes of Netflix a day eats up about 5.25 GB of monthly data, and streaming music uses up another 1.8 GB. With 50% of Britons having a monthly data cap of 5GB or less, while 20% have less than 1GB, packages like ‘Go Binge’ don’t just provide data, they provide peace of mind for those who want to watch content away from home.
Three’s plan isn’t completely unlimited; only select streaming platforms are included in the package, which raises questions about net neutrality and consumer choice. “Once companies start discriminating between which businesses they endorse in this way, mobile services and the internet could move under the control of monopolies," writes journalist Alexandra Simon-Lewis. Either way, 'Go Binge' is a positive brand response – similar to that of Netflix and YouTube – to a real understanding of consumer behaviour, removing some of the barriers to the growing number of people who want access to their media diet 24/7.
Rebecca Smith is a behavioural analyst at Canvas8, which specialises in behavioural insights and consumer research. She’s previously worked on schemes promoting the open discussion of mental health issues among young people.
18 Aug 17
2 min read