The other day, YouTube confirmed that they will reducing the quality of their streams in Europe. This is done to ease the amount of bandwidth users consume while they are stuck at home during the coronavirus outbreak, which in turn will lessen the burden for internet service providers.
Now according to a report from Bloomberg, it seems that YouTube will be extending this practice to the rest of the world. This means that starting today, YouTube will default all video streams to standard definition. This doesn’t mean that all streams will only be available in standard definition.
Users who wish to watch videos at a higher quality will need to switch the video quality manually, but by default, all streams will start at standard definition. This is versus the current settings where YouTube allows videos to begin at a higher quality stream. This should, in theory help to reduce the amount of bandwidth that is being consumed.
It should be noted that Netflix has also announced that they too will be reducing the stream quality for Europe, but the company has yet to apply that to the rest of the world. Netflix has yet to make any kind of announcement, but we wouldn’t be surprised if they were to follow in YouTube’s footsteps.