What YouTube is Doing

We want to make the web a faster place for everyone. Here's what we're doing.

High streaming quality whenever possible

(adaptive bitrate)

  • With Adaptive Bitrate, we break down each video into multiple segments (typically just a few seconds long) for each available video quality.
  • YouTube detects how smoothly a video is playing and adjusts the quality to account for temporary fluctuations in bandwidth or congestion. This can amount to a large number of decisions that must be made in real time to find how to play a single video.
  • For example, if you walk away from your Wi-Fi router, the video might switch from 720p down to 480p as the signal becomes weaker.

Bringing YouTube closer to you

(networking and caches)

  • We've invested billions of dollars in the bandwidth and infrastructure necessary to bring our services as close to your Internet Service Provider's (ISP) front door as possible, for free.
  • We have an open peering policy for our internal network, which means we'll directly interconnect with any ISP who can reach our 70 points of presence worldwide without charge.
  • We often deploy servers within your ISP's network, vastly reducing the distance the video has to travel and minimizing the chance for congestion.
  • We continuously scale our infrastructure and run advanced traffic-control algorithms that re-route your traffic quickly in the event of outages, capacity constraints, or degraded performance.

Bigger hits with fewer bits


  • Like everyone else, we compress video data so it can be efficiently transmitted across the Internet.
  • At YouTube, we work tirelessly on increasing the streaming quality of the video that can be transmitted in as little data as possible, optimizing existing compression technology and championing new approaches.
  • We're developing new video formats like WebM to give you even higher definition while requiring less bandwidth.