Netflix on Mobile – Control Data Usage on Your Terms

Netflix found itself in some hot water with subscribers over the last month when it was revealed that the streaming service was placing data caps on streaming content via mobile devices. Contradictory to their hard stance against data caps, it seemed as if Netflix was attempting to gate data usage without customer consent.

The move made sense on paper, certainly as they expand globally. Netflix would attempt to determine at what quality a customer would use the least amount of data on mobile and present shows and movies in that format. This was met with some anger from existing customers.

But this is Netflix, after all, one of the world’s most beloved companies, so it didn’t take long for them to backtrack on such a program and give the power back to their subscribers. In an announcement this week, Netflix quickly flipped the switch, once again giving control back to customers allowing them to choose the quality of streams on mobile devices.

netflix mobile devices

From the annnouncement:

We are always working on ways to improve picture quality while streaming more efficiently, so bitrates could change over time. As with all streaming, actual data usage can vary based on your device capabilities and network conditions. Your mobile carrier also may impact the actual data usage even if you elect a higher setting in the Netflix app. This setting only affects data usage while viewing on your mobile device on cellular networks; streaming on Wi-Fi is not affected nor is streaming when tethered.

What are your thoughts on this shift? It feels like the right move, but we’d be interested to hear what you think. Let us know in the comments.