The level of global video streaming has skyrocketed since the Covid-19 crisis began, with more people staying at home, watching video across all their devices. The carbon footprint of this nonstop viewing isn’t easy to calculate, but it’s fair to say that it’s significant. One aggressive claim cites a six-hour video binge on Netflix as equivalent to burning a liter of fuel. Streaming involves a complex mix of data center capacity and electricity -- both of which produce carbon dioxide, the levels of which vary depending on the technology being used.
When we discuss rethinking broadcasting in a streaming world, we all acknowledge that we’ve redefined what TV really is. It’s now a content-first, consumer-choice smorgasbord, and streaming companies -- whether digitally native streaming behemoths like Netflix, or latecomer niche players or broadcasters who didn’t realize the streaming wave was a tsunami -- exist to cater to them.