Netflix slowing down in Europe to save Internet from crashing as coronavirus ramps up at-home streaming
The coronavirus pandemic has left millions around the globe staying indoors to self-quarantine, of course leading to a major spike in at-home viewing on streaming services such as Netflix.
Now, after European Commissioner Thierry Breton revealed that he's been in talks with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings about the importance of reducing high-definition streaming in order to save the Internet from crashing, the company has decided to "begin reducing bit rates across all our streams in Europe for 30 days."
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In a statement from Netflix on Thursday, and obtained by Fox News, a company spokesperson said: "Following the discussions between Commissioner Thierry Breton and Reed Hastings - and given the extraordinary challenges raised by the coronavirus - 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.”
The announcement comes after Breton tweeted on Wednesday: "Important phone conversation with @ReedHastings, CEO of @Netflix To beat #COVID19, we #StayAtHome Teleworking & streaming help a lot but infrastructures might be in strain. To secure Internet access for all, let’s #SwitchToStandard definition when HD is not necessary."
Breton's argument is that the less high-definition streaming there is, the less of a strain there will be on people relying on the Internet at home amid the crisis.
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Representatives for Reed Hastings did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.
Netflix is one of the many streaming platforms that has acted steadfastly in doing what it can to bring citizens under quarantine new content.
Disney+ announced it was bringing "Frozen 2" to the streaming service early in order to entertain families with children stuck at home.
Universal Pictures said it was making other films currently in theaters, like "The Hunt," "The Invisible Man" and "Emma," available by Friday, March 20, according to Variety.
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“Universal Pictures has a broad and diverse range of movies with 2020 being no exception. Rather than delaying these films or releasing them into a challenged distribution landscape, we wanted to provide an option for people to view these titles in the home that is both accessible and affordable,” said NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell in a statement obtained by the outlet.
The statement continued: “We hope and believe that people will still go to the movies in theaters where available, but we understand that for people in different areas of the world that is increasingly becoming less possible.”
The film industry has taken a hit in recent weeks, delaying the release dates and production of several tentpole features, including the Bond movie "No Time to Die" and Disney's live-action "Mulan."
Fox News' Nate Day contributed to this report. Get updates on this story from foxnews.com.