Person holding smartphone with YouTube App

Last week Netflix and YouTube did reduce their video playback quality, to help reduce the bandwidth usage and to prevent the internet collapsing due to the high usage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both popular streaming services said they will reduce the quality for 30 days.

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Source: Sandvine Global Internet Report 2018

“We estimate that this will reduce Netflix traffic on European networks by around 25% while also ensuring a good quality service for our members,”

a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement.

YouTube did roll out this change last week for the EU only, but will now make the quality reduction live worldwide.

Unlike Netflix, which reduced the bitrate of all its streams by 25%, YouTube will simply default all videos on the platform to start playing at standard definition. Users will still be able to watch in high definition, but have to manually increase the quality settings to do so.