Netflix has decided to reduce the video quality on its service in Europe due to its strain on internet service providers. The announcement came after a phone call with European officials. All these are a result of the increase in demand due to the increased number of people self-isolating at home because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Netflix's decision to reduce video bitrate by a quarter appears to be a compromise. "Following the discussions between Commissioner Thierry Breton and [Netflix chief executive] Reed Hastings, and given the extraordinary challenges raised by the coronavirus, Netflix has decided to begin reducing bitrates across all our streams in Europe for 30 days," the company said.
The video quality reduction will reduce data consumption by 25%. However, they've promised the viewers will still have good picture quality. Commissioner Breton praised the "very prompt action" Netflix took just hours after the phone call, saying it would "preserve the smooth functioning of the internet during the Covid-19 crisis".