After Netflix confirmed that it was going to reduce the quality of its streams to help prevent European networks from being overloaded during coronavirus, YouTube has now followed suit.

Apple has also announced Apple TV+ streaming service will reduce its streaming quality to help reduce network load.

With workers being told to work from home and schools being closed, Europe has seen a significant increase in data usage in recent weeks. YouTube has taken the decision to reduce its streaming quality in an attempt to help alleviate the demand.

“We are making a commitment to temporarily switch all traffic in the EU to standard definition by default,” the company said in a statement.

YouTube says that it is now reducing the overall quality of videos to standard definition rather than HD or 4K, both of which require much more data in order to function.

Europe’s network infrastructure is already being battered, and with Disney+ set to go live next week it’s unlikely that things will improve any time soon. Disney+ will be streaming in 4K to those whose televisions support it, using a huge amount of data as it goes.

YouTube says that the reduction in streaming quality will be in place for 30 days, although it’s possible that will be extended if such a move is required. It doesn’t appear that a similar move in the United States is in the works at the moment.

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