The world’s broadband infrastructure is struggling to cope up with demand from the bored, housebound masses. Hence, streaming services and tech companies are trying to reduce the load on broadband services.
In a statement to Bloomberg, Google said:
We continue to work closely with governments and network operators around the globe to do our part to minimize stress on the system during this unprecedented situation.
As per a recent report by Bloomberg, YouTube has announced that it will reduce the streaming quality for users around the world to standard definition for the next month. This decision comes a week after YouTube lowered the streaming quality for people in Europe.
Videos will start playing in standard definition (480p) quality by default. Although users will have an option to watch videos in high definition, they must select the option manually. The changes will start rolling out globally today.
As per the company, there are several safeguards in place to ensure YouTube doesn’t stress any pipes. A YouTube representative, while talking to TechCrunch, said, “We have measures in place to automatically adjust our system to use less network capacity.”
YouTube is not the only company reducing streaming quality in its attempt to lessen the broadband strain. Netflix has reduced its bitrates in Europe to ease its burden on broadband by 25%. Similar steps have been taken by Apple and Amazon. Disney+ and other streaming services are following behind.
Other than this, Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, has hinted that Netflix might also reduce its bitrate globally in the upcoming days, depending on the local authority requests.