Netflix is making some changes to the way its service runs in Europe, in response to a request from the European Union’s internal market commissioner Thierry Breton. He asked the video streaming service what it could do to reduce its load on the continent’s internet networks, with populations working at home en masse.
“Streaming platforms, telecom operators and users, we all have a joint responsibility to take steps to ensure the smooth functioning of the internet during the battle against the virus propagation,” said Breton. The talks were fruitful: within hours, Netflix confirmed plans to change.
“Netflix has decided to begin reducing bit rates across all our streams in Europe for 30 days. We estimate that this will reduce Netflix traffic on European networks by around 25 percent while also ensuring a good quality service for our members,” it announced.
We’ve seen the odd suggestion that music streaming services might be asked to follow suit, but we’re sceptical for now. Audio streaming – especially with high-res streams not that popular – isn’t the bandwidth hog that high-resolution video streaming (which *is* more popular) is.