YouTube Reduces the Quality of Videos

Multiple Companies Reducing Their Bitrates during Surged Demand

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Due to the massive media consumption amid the isolation period and citywide lockdown, YouTube reduces the quality of the videos that were previously set to a higher resolution by default.  The step taken as YouTube reduces the quality of the videos is an attempt to decrease the strain on the internet service worldwide as millions of people globally are staying in their homes due to the recent spread of coronavirus.

Before the recent surge in internet traffic amid the COVID 19 outbreak, the videos on YouTube, which were previously streamed in high definition quality, are now set to standard definition by default for the month of March. This can be changed by manually selecting the high definition quality of the video.

Streaming Sites affected by coronavirus outbreak

Streaming video content requires more internet bandwidth as compared to music, messages, or random web surfing as the file size is small as compared to the video. Until last year, Google has the largest consumption of traffic volume, the numbers just ahead of Netflix. Recently, amid the coronavirus outbreak, YouTube has surpassed both by having a massive surge in traffic. The reduction of the video quality of YouTube is by default set to 480p, but will reduce much lower based on the connectivity strength of the internet by the user.

The aim of this move is to ease the overwhelming burden of internet infrastructure and reducing the chances of no internet service availability in regions globally. Multiple big tech platforms are struggling with this challenge to keep their services from crashing amid a spike in demand.

Netflix and YouTube are the topmost video content streaming sites on the internet and have seen a major spike in usage of these sites globally as the whole world has partially shut down after 452, 241 individuals have been infected by the virus in more than 196 countries worldwide. As COVID 19 continues to spread, 113, 121 individuals have successfully recovered from the virus, but 20, 495 did not make out alive after being affected by the pandemic.

Netflix along with YouTube reduces the quality of videos on their sites in Europe due to high content demand. Out of all the global internet traffic, 35% of the users are using YouTube, while 15% accounts for Netflix usage. According to the Google spokesperson, this is not the first time YouTube has seen high content demand and YouTube usage peaks in the evening time, but this is the first time in recent years that YouTube is experiencing high demand throughout the day due to which YouTube reduces the quality of videos to prevent the site from crashing after too much usage.

YouTube is working alongside network operators and governments of countries across the globe to reduce the stress, which has increased during the coronavirus outbreak. As YouTube reduces the quality of videos by default to stand 480p, Netflix has also reduced its bitrates, which have helped reduce the burden on the internet service by 25% across Europe.

Reduction of broadband stress

After YouTube reduces the quality of videos, other companies, including Apple and Amazon have also decided to drop their bitrates, which will help reduce the massive stress on internet connectivity. This will be implicated not only in Europe, but the United States and other countries will also see these changes.

As more people are now working from home, there are concerns arising regarding the massive internet traffic during peak office hours, which in turn also affects other platforms. Sony has announced to reduce the speed of PlayStation downloads in Europe that would help preserve the internet accessibility for the entire region. Multiple other countries are expected to follow the same example, the longer the quarantine period extends.

Read also Lockdown Will Be Enforced By Police: Boris Johnson

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