YouTube to limit video quality globally for a month

It follows Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube confirming similar moves last week after concerns were raised about the ability of internet networks to handle increases in user traffic as millions stay at home during the Covid-19 outbreak. Just yesterday, a Facebook spokesperson also revealed that they, together with Instagram will "temporarily reduce" video streaming bitrates. The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has led to an increased need for internet services as people have been advised to isolate themselves at home.

"Following the discussions between Commissioner Thierry Breton and Reed Hastings - and given the extraordinary challenges raised by the coronavirus - Netflix has chose to begin reducing bit rates across all our streams in Europe for 30 days", a spokeswoman said.

Facebook and Disney have chose to join Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon in reducing the quality of video streams across Europe.

Netflix VP Content Delivery Ken Florance said given the crisis, the company has developed a way to reduce Netflix's traffic on telecommunications networks by 25 per cent while also maintaining the quality of service. This means that if you are in the European Union then you might not be able to choose the quality of your video and the standard definition might be 480p or even 720p. "Our video streaming is based on Adaptive Bitrate Streaming, which ensures that we are lean in internet consumption", the spokesperson added.

Last week, EU Commissioner Thiery Breton talked with Netflix about lowering the quality of streams to standard definition, as well as asking viewers to do the same.

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Now it is being reported that YouTube is extending this policy they have in Europe to the globe.

A Disney Plus subscription will cost you £5.99 per month in the United Kingdom, which matches Netflix rolling cost subscription. Keeping in mind the current circumstances, the service has made a decision to cut back on the bit rate on the streaming videos for a period of 30 days in the United Kingdom and Europe.

The COAI further said that there are various measures that the streaming platform companies can undertake in the current situation.

Bitrate is the amount of data streamed per second when watching a video online.

  • Delia Davidson