"we've developed a way to reduce Netflix's traffic"
Streaming service Netflix will be reducing the quality of their videos by 25% in a bid to help internet service providers.
The change will be relevant to Europe and India.
The move comes as the Coronavirus continues to spread. Many people have been told to stay at home. This has led to a surge in internet usage.
It has already been done in Europe but now they plan to do the same in India, where millions are using home internet amid a lockdown.
Netflix announced that the quality will be lowered in India over the next 30 days in order to reduce network traffic.
Despite the announcement, Netflix has said that it will not affect the video resolution so users will still get HD and 4K quality depending on the subscription plan that was paid for. The company is lowering bitrates.
Ken Florance, Netflix’s VP of content delivery, said:
“Given the crisis, we’ve developed a way to reduce Netflix’s traffic on telecommunications networks by 25 per cent while also maintaining the quality of our service.
“Consumers should continue to get the quality that comes with their plan, whether it’s ultra-high, high or standard-definition.
“We believe that this will provide significant relief to congested networks and will be deploying it in India for the next 30 days.”
Netflix has over 16 million paying users in the Asia-Pacific region, but it does not disclose subscriber figures for India.
It is not just Netflix who are making temporary changes.
Facebook has also announced that it will temporarily reduce bit rates, or cut picture quality, for videos on both Facebook and Instagram.
Currently, Netflix is the only streaming platform that has pledged to make changes in India.
Many Indians use Netflix’s mobile plan which is priced at Rs. 199 (£2.20) and only streams in standard-definition (SD) on their mobile phones.
Amazon’s Prime Video said that it has started reducing streaming bit rates in India while Hotstar said it was prepared to reduce the bit rate if they needed to.
However, Hotstar, which is one of India’s most popular streaming platforms, said that many users are streaming at SD since they are on the basic ad-supported tier.
While changes have been made to help internet service providers in the ongoing situation, it is likely that mobile networks will come under pressure.
More people in India will be using home internet following a nationwide lockdown for 21 days to stem the spread of the Coronavirus.