25 Mar – Starting from next month, YouTube will be reducing the default streaming quality of the videos on its platform worldwide.
This means that when viewers start playing a video, it will play in standard definition (480p) quality as opposed to any higher quality they have set as the default, according to Bloomberg.
However, this doesn't mean that the videos will no longer be available in high definition. Viewers still have the option to watch HD videos but they will have to switch to it manually.
The reduction in streaming quality is done in an effort to ease internet traffic and broadband strain during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced people across the globe to stay at home for longer periods and for most to start working from home as well, which requires steady internet connection.
YouTube has started reducing its video quality since last week but that was only in Europe. It now decides to do the reduction on a global scale considering the widening spread of the outbreak.
Similarly, Netflix and Amazon have earlier announced that they were dropping their average bitrates in Europe. No news yet on whether this will be done globally.
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