YouTube has reduced the quality of video streaming to standard definition around the world in an effort by the world's most popular video site to ease Internet traffic during the coronavirus outbreak.
Users will still be able to watch in high definition, but will have to choose to do so.
YouTube, part of Alphabet Inc.'s Google, is extending a policy it already instituted in Europe, where regulators have asked major streaming services, including Netflix Inc. and Amazon Prime Video, to reduce their bandwidth usage.
Streaming video requires more Internet bandwidth than music, messaging, or maps because of the size of the files transmitted.
Use of streaming services has surged in recent weeks as hundreds of millions of people stay home to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. While YouTube viewing has historically spiked in the evening, consumption is now more steady across the day, the company said.
"We continue to work closely with governments and network operators around the globe to do our part to minimize stress on the system during this unprecedented situation," Google said in a statement.
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