Netflix found itself in a bit of a pickle a few days ago when it was revealed that the company has been throttling the steams of mobile users for years. On one hand, throttling the streaming reduces mobile data use and makes it harder for people to hit their data caps, but on the other hand, people really hate being throttled against their will. Naturally, the solution was both obvious and easy to implement: just give people the option to decide whether their streams are throttled to save data or not. It’s a feature that should’ve been added ages ago, but Netflix only got around to announcing the feature on Thursday.
Netflix recently confirmed it has been throttling the data of some mobile users to prevent them from reaching their caps while binging on movies and TV shows. Some aren’t too happy about this, so the company is going to give customers control over their data. Netflix admitted to throttling video streams for customers on AT&T and Verizon, but it insists it hasn’t been doing it nefariously. Its aim was to prevent customers from blowing their data allowance on movies and TV shows too quickly. In turn, this could encourage some users — who aren’t happy about the service eating up all their data — to cancel their Netflix subscription. But now, instead of taking control for you, Netflix is going to let you choose how you’d prefer to stream content. With an update that’s coming “sometime in May,” mobile users will be able to choose the quality of the video they get while using a cellular connection. “The data saver feature will provide members with more control over their data usage when streaming on mobile networks, allowing them to either stream more video under a smaller data plan, or increase their video quality if they have a higher data plan,” explained Netflix’s Anne Marie Squeo in a blog post.