YouTube is reducing video quality worldwide during coronavirus emergency

The change is beginning today.

Mar 24, 2020, 3:24 pm

Tech

Andrew Wyrich 

Andrew Wyrich

YouTube Standard Definition Coronavirus

soul_studio / Shutterstock.com (Licensed)

YouTube is reducing the quality of its videos worldwide starting today as a way to slow internet traffic congestion as more and more people stay inside to try and stop the spread of coronavirus.

Bloomberg News first reported the company’s decision on Tuesday morning. Starting today, videos seen by users will be in standard definition by default. However, they will have the option to stream in higher definition if they choose to do so.

Last week, YouTube said it would lower the video quality in Europe. The announcement on Tuesday extends that plan across the world. Amazon Prime and Netflix have also slowed streaming speeds in Europe for similar reasons.

“We continue to work closely with governments and network operators around the globe to do our part to minimize stress on the system during this unprecedented situation,” Google, which owns YouTube, told Bloomberg News in a statement.

With more people working from home and self-quarantining, there has been concern about the amount of bandwidth and slower speeds as more people are connected.

You can read all of the Bloomberg News report here.

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Last updated Mar 25, 2020, 9:47 am