As families turn to streaming during their coronavirus caused isolation, streaming platforms including Netflix and Disney Plus are seeing a bandwidth strain and a massive surge in traffic, and now Disney Plus have agreed to lower the streaming quality across Europe. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news. Disney executive Kevin Mayer released a statement saying:
“In line with Disney’s longstanding commitment to act responsibly, we are responding to the request of European Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, to work together to ensure the smooth functioning of the broadband infrastructure.”
“In anticipation of high consumer demand for Disney+,” he continued, “we are proactively instituting measures to lower our overall bandwidth utilization by at least 25 percent in all of the markets launching Disney+ on March 24th. In the coming days, we will be monitoring Internet congestion and working closely with internet service providers to further reduce bit rates as necessary to ensure they are not overwhelmed by consumer demand.”
Disney Plus is set to launch this week in the U.K, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland. France has delayed the new streaming service, will receive Disney Plus in April.
Amazon has taken a similar approach with its Prime Video service over the last few days, promising to “reduce streaming bitrates whilst maintaining a quality streaming experience” in the European countries where it operates.
Netflix and YouTube were the first streaming services to fall in line with the EU directive, though it now appears that everyone with a video platform is going to be taking steps to tackle the huge increase in people stuck at home. While network operators have said they are confident that there’s enough spare capacity in the system to cope with everyone becoming habitual binge-watchers, it would appear that no one wants to take any chances.
If you enjoy what you are reading, consider making a small donation. Any amount helps.