YouTube and Amazon Prime Video may be joining Netflix in cutting picture quality in Europe in order to prevent broadband overload in the continent. As per a report by Reuters, the video streaming platforms reportedly made the announcement in response to a call made by Thierry Breton, the European Union Industry Chief.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Coronavirus, almost the entirety of Europe in the midst of a quarantine aimed at stemming new cases. As such, people are turning to video streaming in order to get some entertainment which is placing strain on the platforms.
“We are making a commitment to temporarily switch all traffic in the EU to standard definition by default,” YouTube said in a statement after Breton spoke to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki. This move is said to be for 30 days. A spokesperson also reportedly stated that the move will include Britain, which is leaving the EU. Amazon Prime Video then followed suit saying that it supported the need for careful management of telecom services. This should allow operators to be able to handle the increased demand.
“Prime Video is working with local authorities and Internet Service Providers were needed to help mitigate any network congestion, including in Europe where we’ve already begun the effort to reduce streaming bitrates whilst maintaining a quality streaming experience for our customers,” a spokesperson told Reuters.
This news comes a few days after Netflix had announced that it was reducing streaming quality for the next 30 days in Europe in order to reduce strain on the network. "Our goal is simple: to maintain the quality of service for our members while supporting ISPs who are facing an unprecedented strain on their networks," the company had said.
With the pandemic spreading across the globe and most of the world starting to self isolate, it possible the internet services in other countries. As such, it is possible that these steps might have to be taken in other countries too.