Streaming services around the world are attempting to do their parts in limiting the pressure on the network infrastructures by changing streaming qualities. YouTube have decided to thus make the decision to change their default streaming quality for all users around the world for a month.

Bloomberg are reporting that YouTube are now moving their default streaming to a SD level. Last week they dropped to the 480p quality in the EU and UK but today have announced that they are expanding that change in quality globally, from today.

YouTube’s benevolence only goes so far though with users still able to choose high definition quality if they want — it will not be the default though. Given how selfish we have seen people here in Australia in this current crisis we don’t hold out much hope for our network to see much change — unless people are unable to figure out how to change the quality of their stream.

YouTube doesn’t see worldwide bandwidth as an issue at this stage but this preemptive measure is being taken due to concerns from within the US government.

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.

You would expect it is a matter of time before Google and YouTube consider making the change, to at least some locations including Australia with our beleaguered NBN, to some quality not being available any more — at least temporarily. There is no reason anyone actually needs 4K video to view anything on YouTube. With our economy relying on so many people being able to work from home in these times it would seem prudent to relieve the stress on our network as much as possible.

We dare say this won’t be the last change or announcement we see from the various streaming services. We expect them to keep doing the right thing and continue to impose restrictions, just as our governments have to be able to keep operating in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Doesn’t YouTube, Netflix and all use CDN’s? I don’t see this making a huge impact.

Nigel Elliott

i doubt the vast majority of people watching on a phone would even notice the difference. yes the vast majority on here will as we are probably the more tech focused group of people but as a whole we are the minority.