Over the last decade, online streaming services have established themselves pretty well, with millions of subscribers around the world, making our life more comfortable as we can watch what we want at any time. However, during this pandemic, people have no other choice instead to stay inside their homes due to the novel coronavirus. Everyone’s self-isolating themselves at home, and the internet has become the victim of it, as it’s experiencing heavy strain. Streaming platforms have seen a massive increase in watch times as its widely used for entertainment.?
WarnerMedia (parent company of HBO) took a look at how many of their subscribers are spending more time watching TV shows and movies over the past few weeks. They saw an overall increase of 20 percent on watch times compared to the previous month. HBO has now seen the highest usage since the summer. The percentage of series binge-watching has also increased by 65 percent, and movies by 77 percent on HBO Now, according to “The Verge”.
When it comes to increasing traffic, WarnerMedia is not the only one experiencing it. Netflix hasn’t released the numbers, but they have been experiencing a massive surge in streams. Some of the reports from third-party companies have shown massive increases in usage and new subscribers on streaming platforms like Disney Plus.?
According to the Verge, Twitch has seen extensive growth in viewership by 31 percent, and the total amount of watch hours has taken flight from 33 million on March 8 to 43 million by March 22.?
No doubt, Youtube has also seen a 15 percent increase in gaming streams as people started self-isolating at home.?
All Streaming Platforms Reducing Video Quality Across The World Including United States
As streaming video consumes large bandwidth compared to music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, Youtube, and other streaming services are committed to reducing the picture quality in Europe and India. Netflix has included this method in addition to other techniques of keeping the stream uniform in lower bandwidth regions, which they introduced in 2011. Netflix has already been using its smart-adaptive streaming tool that automatically controls the video quality according to the available bandwidth. However, premium users will still be able to watch movies on 4K.?
Streaming services are starting to respond to this global strain on the internet. Earlier this week, Youtube announced that it would automatically stream videos in standard definition by default for 30 days starting from March 31, Tuesday. However, users can still watch videos in high definition, if so, then they have to choose it in the settings. Amazon has also stepped up for preparing to reduce its bit rate streams on all countries across the world, including the United States.?
Streaming videos take a lot of the bandwidth. In this pandemic, not everyone is trying to stream at the same time. A lot of the people are working from home, communicating with loved ones, taking online classes, doing the more important things than just watch and chill and they all rely on the internet. Therefore, streaming platforms have to share bandwidth.?