YouTube will reduce the quality of videos around the world for a month.
In an effort by the world’s most popular video site to ease internet traffic during the coronavirus outbreak, viewers will at first see YouTube videos in standard definition, the company said. Users will still be able to watch in high definition if they want, but will have to choose to do so, this during a whole month.
This measure, Bloomberg reports, had already been instituted by Youtube in Europe, where regulators have asked major streaming services, including Netflix Inc. and Amazon Prime Video, to reduce their bandwidth usage, now, YouTube is extending this policy worldwide. YouTube doesn’t believe the world will run out of internet bandwidth any time soon, but is taking a preemptive measure given growing concerns at the government level, but as more people work and learn from home, concerns about stress being placed on broadband networks continue to grow. More companies are likely to take similar actions around the world the longer people remain self-quarantined at home, The Verge reports.
Streaming video requires more internet bandwidth than music, messaging or maps because of the size of the files transmitted. Google was the largest consumer of traffic volume on the internet last year, just ahead of Netflix, according to a study by Sandvine, a network analysis firm. Recently, YouTube traffic has surged even more, Sandvine reported recently.