THE CDI BLOG

How do streaming services like Netflix affect our environment?

Streaming services like Netflix, Disney or YouTube have received some attention in the media recently when they voluntarily cut bandwidth use in Europe as Covid-19-related lockdowns across many countries significantly boosted the number of streaming users. These measures resulted in a lower video resolution but also reduced internet traffic to avoid internet disruption. This, however, sheds light on a related issue, which is the amount of energy that high-resolution streaming consumes and the resulting carbon footprint and negative implications for our planet. Streaming through services like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video requires energy to run the data centres on which the content is stored

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Cambridge Digital Innovation

Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge

Cambridge Judge Business School

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