26 MAR 2020
SPECIAL CONTENT

YOUTUBE REDUCES VIDEO QUALITY FOR WORLDWIDE USERS

The company will set the default quality mode at standard definition (480p) as opposed to the usual HD (1280 X 720p) for 30 days as an effort to ease broadband strains during Coronavirus outbreak.

Youtube announced that it will reduce its default video quality for users around the world to help ease rising internet traffic. The decision after Youtube experienced a historic spike in views on behalf of millions who are staying home during the Coronavirus pandemic. The company decided to expand its efforts on a global scale one week after lower streaming quality in Europe. The change is scheduled to last 30 days. “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,” the company said in a statement to Bloomberg.

By default, videos will play in standard definition (480p) quality as opposed to the usual HD (1280 x 720p), but viewers will still have the option to manually set the video up in high quality. Youtube is also implementing its usual limitation of video quality based on the strength of each user’s internet connection. The company isn’t the only one to promote an effort to protect the internet's infrastructure during the crisis. Netflix reduced its bitrates in Europe to reduce its broadband burden by 25%. Apple and Amazon have done the same, and continue to keep an eye on the circumstances in the U.S and other countries around the world. Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos suggested that Netflix could expand the effort to the rest of the world, depending on local authority requests. 

Regulators urge major streaming services to have measures in place to help broadband strain concerns. Some of the biggest platforms are also struggling to adapt their services to the overwhelming demand. The epidemic is impacting platforms from various industries, including gaming. Sony announced that it would slow down Playstation downloads in Europe to “preserve internet access for the entire community.” 

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.” Youtube