Move over, HD- High Definition. It’s back to SD- Standard Definition for YouTube users across the world. Videos on the global platform will now play in the default standard definition template for all users across latitudes and geographies.
The move comes as an effort to ease the burden on internet infrastructure as countries grapple with lockdowns and other emergency policies in the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic outbreak has led to millions being cooped up at home, and using the Internet more than ever: for work, utility, and entertainment that includes watching streaming TV (and most bingeing on it).
Last week, Google had announced that it was temporarily defaulting all videos on YouTube to standard definition in the EU.
The amount of time people have spent on streaming sites has risen by 34 percent since the beginning of March, with total usage growing from 116.4 billion minutes during the week of March 2 to 156.1 billion minutes during the week of March 16, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Collective minutes for March 16 to 22 was “more than double that of the same week in 2019,” the outlet writes, citing Nielsen.
Brown mentioned that even though viewers are watching more TV news now, “at some point, viewers are going to want to get away from the outside world and take a break. That is the real magic of streaming, being in control of what you watch entirely and being taken away from where you are—that’s the power that entertainment gives consumers and during these times, that power is invaluable.”
The move comes in the wake of increased need for Internet services, with more people at home due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.