How streaming services are coping with COVID-19

These days, COVID-19 is all we talk about. Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a pandemic on March 11, Canadians have been asked to stay home to avoid the spread of the infection. Classes for all ages have been cancelled, and all non-essential businesses have been closed. 

Now that a big part of the population is home, they’re turning to streaming services to provide them with entertainment and distractions to take their mind off of COVID-19.

Streaming giants such as Netflix, Disney + and Hulu have all started to make changes to their platforms to keep up with the increasingly competitive and demanding market.

Hulu is now offering free live streams to news networks. Netflix has acquired multiple out-of-house movies. Disney + has already posted their recent blockbuster movies on their platform, months ahead of their planned release dates. Frozen 2 was posted on Disney + three months ahead of schedule, Onward, which hit theatres on March 6, will be moved to Disney + next month.

Streaming services are also now offering longer free trials for its newest customers. Originally, Netflix had a free seven-day trial, but it’s now offering 30 days for free. This is all part of the competitive streaming service market that has seen a significant boom in traffic since the COVID-19 outbreak.

While consumers might be happy that many new movies and TV shows are being added to their favourite streaming platforms, they won’t be too excited when they notice that the streaming quality isn’t as high definition as before.

That’s because with millions of people worldwide self-isolating, the internet is being strained. The only way to reduce the bandwidth pressure and avoid crashing these systems is to reduce streaming quality. YouTube, Netflix and Disney + were the first streaming giants to do so. 

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About Gabrielle Esteves 14 Articles
Gabrielle Esteves is a journalism student with a passion for sports, TV and writing. She’s also fluent in English, French and Portuguese!