Disney Plus and Facebook are joining Netflix and YouTube in reducing the streaming quality of its services in Europe in order to ease the burden on the continent's internet infrastructure. This comes as more and more people are self-isolating and staying indoors, at home, to avoid contracting or passing on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
But that's not all - Disney Plus also announced that it would be delaying the release of its streaming service in France. It was set to launch on March 24th, but the launch date has now been postponed to April 7th at the request of the French government.
Kevin Mayer, the head of Disney's direct-to-consumer division, stated that Disney will lower its "overall bandwidth utilization by at least 25 percent in all of the markets launching Disney Plus on March 24th."
A Facebook spokesperson echoed that pledge. A statement to Reuters reads, "To help alleviate any potential network congestion, we will temporarily reduce bit rates for videos on Facebook and Instagram in Europe."
Neilsen estimated that, with everyone staying home, it's possible to reach a nearly 60 percent increase in the amount of content we watch online. These announcements mark only a few of the measures internet companies at taking to ease the pain and frustration of having to stay home.
Amazon Prime Video will be able to support up to six user profiles
If you're a Netflix user, you're probably used to being able to add up to five different user profiles on one account - it's one of the reasons why Netflix is one of the best movie and TV streaming sites. Although a little late to the game, Amazon Prime Video is adding the same feature: you'll potentially be able to have up to six user profiles on one account. That means that each profile will get its own personalized recommendations and will be able to manage a watch list and track viewing progress independently of one another.
While that new feature is not immediately available everywhere, it's currently available in in selected countries in Asia and Africa. It's a huge improvement on the current platform, but for now, those in self-isolation or who are practicing social distancing due to the novel coronavirus will have to sign up for their own accounts.