Video streaming giant YouTube has made a significant decision as the global pandemic COVID 19 rages on. According to the report, the company will reduce the quality of its videos across the world from today. The company is hoping that this will reduce the strain on the internet infrastructure during the coronavirus pandemic. As part of the change, the default video quality will switch to standard definition or 480p. The company clarified that users can still switch to high definition if they want to. However, they will have to manually turn the quality up. Let’s take a closer look at the circumstances around this decision. Also Read - Coronavirus: Netflix, Hotstar, YouTube asked to stream in SD to ease bandwidth burden
YouTube reduces its video quality across the world; details
According to a report from Bloomberg, the company already announced this move in Europe a few days back. This move extends the same policy to cover the entire planet. It is also worth noting that YouTube is not the only company to have made changes in its quality. As noted previously, streaming giants including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video has also reduced their quality to decrease bandwidth needs. This reduction is meant to maintain the stability of the internet. A number of ISPs and giant websites have observed an increased strain on internet infrastructure. This strain is likely because of an increasing number of users staying home and consuming more content online. Also Read - YouTube hits 20 million total paid subscribers, over 2 million paid for YouTube TV: Pichai
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YouTube revealed that it usually observed a usage spike in the evening as people reached home from work. However, the measures to stay at home to contain the spread have made the consumption steady across the day. This means that the company is experiencing increased use throughout the day. Also Read - YouTube trick: How to play videos in the background without rooting your device
The report dug deeper noting that video streaming requires more bandwidth than other activities. These include streaming musing, messaging, or using maps for navigation. This difference is likely because of the size of the files in play. It also noted that Google was the largest consumer of bandwidth in 2019. YouTube revealed that it will continue to work with governments and network operators across the planet to reduce the stress on the system.