Last week, Netflix announced that it was going to reduce the quality of its video streams in Europe for the next 30 days in order to reduce the strain on internet infrastructure. Today, Bloomberg reported that YouTube will also take steps to reduce the impact of its streaming videos.

Streaming video services have seen a significant uptick in usage due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in requests for social distancing and, in some areas, mandatory orders that have kept people at home. A 2019 Sandvine report claimed that video streaming accounts for more than 60 percent of total internet downstream volume worldwide. At the time, Netflix accounted for a much larger slice of that pie than YouTube in the Americas—12.9 percent, compared to 6.3 percent—but a more recent report says the coronavirus outbreak has pushed YouTube past Netflix, sometimes by nearly double the volume.

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