After a sluggish start to the trading day, shares of Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) moved about 2.2% higher in the early afternoon hours on Wednesday. The midday pop seems to be a result of the news that T-Mobile (TMUS - Free Report) is including a free Netflix subscription in its new family plans.
According to a company press release, “T-Mobile One” family plans with two or more lines now include a complimentary Netflix membership. T-Mobile One customers will be able to activate their Netflix accounts online, in-store, or over the phone starting on September 12.
“The future of mobile entertainment is not about bolting a satellite dish to the side of your house or resuscitating faded 90s dotcoms. The future is mobile, over-the-top and unlimited,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile,” said T-Mobile CEO John Legere.
For customers that already have Netflix accounts, T-Mobile has promised to cover the cost of the subscription—a deal that’s worth about $120 every year. The promotion is part of what T-Mobile calls its “Un-carrier” strategy, which is a company-wide effort to challenge mobile carrier conventions.
However, other carriers have similar packages with streaming platforms. For example, AT&T includes DirecTV Now streaming in some of its plans. Of course, AT&T owns DirecTV, so this partnership between two separate companies is somewhat unique.
“This is the right move at the right time — for all the right reasons,” said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. “More and more fans are bingeing on mobile, so we’re bringing together Netflix’s award-winning TV shows and movies with T-Mobile’s award-winning, unlimited network.”
T-Mobile is only guaranteeing one Netflix account per family plan, and there’s certain to be plenty of overlap between existing T-Mobile One and Netflix members.
Nevertheless, the promotion is likely to give at least some lift to Netflix’s U.S. subscriber figures. Netflix said that it had 51.92 million total U.S. streaming subscribers at the end of the second quarter. At the time, the company was expecting to add about 750,000 accounts in the third quarter.
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