As the coronavirus outbreak forces people to work from home and children to stay out of school, Netflix and Amazon Prime agreed to a European Union request that streaming services switch from high definition to standard in an effort to reduce the strain on the internet, as previously reported by CNN and the Guardian. Apple is doing the same with Apple TV+, as reported earlier by 9to5Mac, as is Google-owned YouTube.
A Prime Video spokesperson confirmed to CNET that it's following suit.
"Prime Video is working with local authorities and Internet Service Providers where needed to help mitigate any network congestion, including in Europe where we've already begun the effort to reduce streaming bitrates whilst maintaining a quality streaming experience for our customers," the company said in an emailed statement.
Apple confirmed it's limiting the quality of streaming on its Apple TV+ service, which 9to5Mac reported now has lower resolution and visible artifacts in the images.
The new strain of coronavirus, which can develop into a respiratory illness known as COVID-19, was discovered in Wuhan, China, in December and has since spread globally. As of Friday morning, it had infected more than 246,000 people and caused more than 10,000 deaths.