T-Mobile Downgrades ‘Netflix on Us’ Offer

T-Mobile is changing its “Netflix on Us” offer with its two main unlimited postpaid plans.

No longer will subscribers get the Netflix Standard service, with two concurrent streams per account and video resolution of up to 1080p, at no charge. Because Netflix has raised the price of that plan by $2 from $10.99 to $12.99 per month, T-Mobile will start passing on the extra $2 price to its customers.

Customers with the two T-Mobile plans, rebranded to Magenta, can get the Netflix Basic plan, with one stream and video resolution to 480p, at no extra charge. That plan normally costs $8.99 per month.

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“To account for the Netflix price increase earlier this year, Magenta includes Netflix Basic for families,” read a T-Mobile release. “Existing T-Mobile One customers with Netflix on Us that includes Netflix Standard will see the Netflix price change of $2 per month for Netflix Standard passed through starting in July. To avoid that, those customers can either turn off Netflix on Us or change to Magenta.”

T-Mobile began offering the free Netflix promotion in 2017.

Feature Optimizes Low-light Streaming Video for Mobile Phones

VisualOn Inc., a video streaming solutions provider, has launched its Adaptive NightVision feature, which enhances its proprietary media platform player by allowing low-light or dark scenes to display more clearly on mobile devices.

The feature allows subscribers to select the viewing effects they want directly on their mobile devices.

“Something that looks great on a TV in a darkened room may not look good at all on a mobile phone in a coffee shop,” said Colin Dixon, chief analyst and founder, nScreenMedia, in a statement. “The ability to adapt to a specific viewing environment is critical for service and content providers for every viewer to have a good experience. VisualOn’s solution is a great example of the type of player feature that viewers need to effectively compensate for mobile viewing conditions.”

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VisualOn’s Adaptive NightVision is built on an advanced algorithm that analyzes the video, in real time, for contrast, brightness, color saturation and key metrics, according to a company press release. Viewers can set their preferred experience through a slider directly in the Media Platform player.

“Our successful demonstration at NAB and the recent feedback from ‘The Long Night’ episode of ‘Game of Thrones’ has prompted greater urgency for Adaptive NightVision,” said Michael Jones, SVP and head of business development, VisualOn, in a statement. “As streaming services mature, consumers want to experience the same quality that is provided by their traditional TV service on their mobile devices. We feel this is really a democratization of content. Adaptive NightVision provides an optimal viewing experience for mobile devices by giving control to consumers while not limiting artists to create content for small screen viewing.”

AT&T’s John Donovan to Deliver Keynote on 5G Opportunities at CES

AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan will lead a keynote session titled “New Frontiers in Mobile” at CES 2019, the Consumer Technology Association announced.

Donovan will join MediaLink Chairman and CEO Michael Kassan to discuss opportunities for 5G, the next generation technology for mobile.

Owned and produced by CTA, CES 2019 takes place Jan. 8-11 in Las Vegas. The keynote will begin at 2 p.m. Jan. 9 at the Park Theater, MGM Park.

Presented by MediaLink, the keynote will explore how 5G will open up opportunities for robotic manufacturing, AR/VR and mixed reality, sporting experiences and public safety, among other industries. After Donovan’s talk, a panel of industry executives will discuss how global companies are developing marketing strategies to best engage consumers in this mobile, data-driven world. Confirmed keynote panelists include National Geographic CMO Jill Cress, Deloitte Digital CMO Alicia Hatch, Magic Leap CPO Omar Khan, Adobe CMO Ann Lewnes, The Stagwell Group president and managing partner Mark Penn, and Ascential Events president and Cannes Lions chairman Phil Thomas.

“AT&T is a leader in the next-generation of connected mobility that will impact every aspect of our lives, and 5G is the platform that will enable that transformation,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA, in a statement. “We are excited to have John Donovan and Michael Kassan lead this powerful CES keynote that will delve into the new world of 5G innovation and the next wave of connectivity.”

Donovan is responsible for the bulk of AT&T’s global telecommunications and U.S. video services businesses, including its Business, Mobility and Entertainment, and Technology & Operations groups, according to a CTA press release. Previously, Donovan served as chief strategy officer and group president, AT&T Technology and Operations, where he led strategic planning for the company overall.

Kassan founded MediaLink in 2003, a strategic advisory firm serving companies at the intersection of media, marketing, advertising, technology, entertainment and finance.

Hulu First SVOD Service to Offer Payment through Venmo

Hulu announced it is the first streaming service to offer payment through the peer-to-peer app Venmo.

“At Hulu, we want to bring our viewers choice and flexibility, in as many ways as possible,” read a company statement. “From infusing our product with your favorite features like Night Mode on Web to supporting all the devices that matter most to you, we constantly strive to make it easy for you to stream, any way you want. And that includes how you want to pay for your Hulu subscription.

“That’s why we’ve partnered with Venmo, the app you love to use to send money, to bring you a new way to pay for your Hulu subscription.”

Beginning Dec. 6, Hulu subscribers with a Venmo account were able to sign up for a new Hulu account and pay with the peer-to-peer app.

“Pay with Venmo in just a few clicks — no need to pull out your credit card and type in your card number,” read the Hulu statement. “Just use your mobile Web browser to sign up for Hulu and select Venmo as your payment option. From there, your Venmo balance or linked payment method will be used for your monthly recurring subscription.”

Existing Hulu subscribers will soon be able to switch payment preferences to Venmo, too, according to the company.

Netflix Bows Automatic Download, Delete Feature for Android

Netflix July 10 introduced “Smart Downloads.” The feature, initially available on Android phones and tablets, automatically deletes a downloaded episode when subscribers finish watching it and then automatically downloads the next episode, according to the company blog.

“We know how annoying it can be to go through all your apps and delete files you no longer need; we also understand that when it comes to Netflix, the faster you can get to the next episode you want to watch, the better,” read the blog from Cameron Johnson, director of product innovation. “Whether it is smart downloading or viewing a mobile preview, we realize the best part of Netflix is connecting with the stories you will love in an easier and more fun way.”

Members can choose when they want to use Smart Downloads, according to the blog. There are more details on the feature here .

Netflix Launches Mobile Previews

Netflix April 19 introduced mobile previews on iOS, according to a blog post by Cameron Johnson, director of product innovation.

The service is coming soon to Android, he wrote.

“Mobile previews present members with a fun, simple, and easy way to learn about all the new content on Netflix — and find something great to watch even faster,” he wrote. “Each preview is about 30 seconds long and presented in a vertical format, so you can watch them without turning your phone. The previews are shown like a slideshow, so if you see something you like, you can tap play or add to your list. If not, you can swipe or tap the screen to advance to the next preview.”

The move comes on the heels of video previews on the TV launched last year.

“Years of testing has made it clear that video previews help our members browse less and discover new content more quickly,” Johnson wrote. “With the launch of mobile previews, we are bringing a video browse experience to your mobile phone in a fun and mobile-optimized way.”

“Mobile previews load very quickly, are personalized to your specific tastes, and are easy to use.”