Netflix recently announced that it would be lowering the video quality of its content in Europe over the next month in order to prevent the internet from crashing due to the sudden explosion of traffic caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
However, this decision hasn't gone down well with European users who are asking the streaming giant to reduce its subscription prices as well.
Netflix lowers video quality in Europe for 30 days
After being urged by EU Commissioner Thierry Breton to reduce video streaming quality in Europe from high definition (HD) to standard definition (SD) in a bid to lower the burden on internet service providers overwhelmed by the unprecedented surge in web traffic amid the coronavirus pandemic, Netflix announced on Thursday that it would comply with the request.
"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," a spokesperson for Netflix said in a statement obtained by Business Insider.
"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 spokesperson added.
With countries forced to enforce lockdowns, hundreds of millions are forced to isolate themselves within the confines of their homes. This has led to a tremendous increase in traffic on streaming platforms, which in turn, has caused a huge strain on the internet.
Users ask for price reductions
Shortly after Netflix's announcement, disgruntled users took to social media to express their anger, calling for the streaming giant to lower its subscription charges as well. Netflix's subscription charges are dependent on the video quality and the number of screens you can watch the content on at the same time. For instance, users currently pay more to watch content in HD and 4K quality than standard definition.
"I have a big 4K tv. Dropping their stream quality means shows will look s**t on said tv," wrote one Reddit user. "I'm in isolation for the next 12 weeks too and was intending to use Netflix a fair bit, but screw that noise. I pay for the hd package, I expect had."
"I would like to have a price reduction because I'm paying for 4K quality and not for that of a cheaper plan," commented another. Expecting Netflix to lower the pricing tiers in Europe seems far-fetched but hopefully Netflix can make up for it by adding fresh new content to the platform to keep users entertained while they socially distance themselves from the outside world.