Video: T-Cellular COO on new Netflix partnership and what it says about right this moment’s media panorama


T-Cellular’s newest “Un-Service” transfer — including free Netflix subscriptions to new and present T-Cellular One household plans — goals to additional differentiate T-Cellular from its bigger rivals, AT&T and Verizon, whereas serving to the corporate lure new prospects and retain present ones.

RELATED: T-Cellular to supply free Netflix with wi-fi household plans in unique cope with streaming large

However underpinning the transfer is a shift in how folks eat content material, and the rise of smartphones as a dominant leisure gadget, T-Cellular’s Chief Working Officer Mike Sievert advised GeekWire in an interview on the firm’s Bellevue, Wash. headquarters Wednesday.

“That is actually a couple of recognition that issues are altering in our trade,” Sievert mentioned of the Netflix partnership. “That is about understanding that content material of every kind is touchdown on the web, and the web goes cellular, so there’s an enormous convergence taking place.”

Underneath the brand new program, dubbed “Netflix On Us,” T-Cellular says it’ll present a free Netflix customary subscription to T-Cellular One prospects with two or extra voice strains. The price will stay $40 per line. The corporate says it’ll cowl the price of Netflix for many who already subscribe to the streaming service.

T-Cellular COO Mike Sievert discusses the corporate’s new Netflix partnership (GeekWire Photograph / Kevin Lisota)

Sievert wouldn’t say precisely what proportion of T-Cellular’s buyer base is eligible for this system, however he did notice that household plans symbolize the “overwhelming majority” of T-Cellular prospects. Don’t count on to see the Netflix deal prolonged to non-family plans any time quickly, as prospects have to have a “large enough relationship with us for us to have the ability to afford this,” Sievert mentioned.

Sievert talked about a number of instances that T-Cellular isn’t getting a lot of a deal from Netflix on these plans, although he wouldn’t say precisely how a lot the partnership is costing T-Cellular.

“We weren’t in a position to get an enormous low cost,” Sievert mentioned. “We’re paying, and we’re placing prospects first, and that’s one thing we’re actually proud to be able to do.”

As is T-Cellular customized, Sievert additionally took some photographs at opponents. He lambasted AT&T’s deal to purchase DirecTV for $48.5 billion in 2015 and supply its personal streaming service, DirectTV Now. He claimed that the opposite wi-fi corporations are utilizing altering media traits to wring extra money out of consumers, whereas asserting that T-Cellular is all about giving prospects the perfect bang for the buck.

“We’re in search of a possibility so as to add worth for our prospects and clear up their ache factors. It’s so totally different from what our opponents are doing. They’re seeing greenback indicators, how they will slam their prospects with massive fats juicy bundles impressed by the way in which massive cable has all the time operated,” Seivert mentioned.

T-Cellular is all about disruption, so it’s becoming that Sievert selected an offbeat option to rejoice the brand new partnership. As a substitute of popping champagne, he closed out our interview by smashing a bag of T-Cellular-branded popcorn all around the ground.

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