Youtube could spare the planet by allowing people to stream songs without images

YouTube isn’t only for watching videos. In fact, many people use the platform to listen to music. If people who are only listening to videos don’t have images playing, companies like YouTube might make themselves more Earth-friendly, a new study finds.

That’s because a lot of the energy used to get that video to your eyeballs happens at the network and device level. By sending only sound to users who aren’t watching, the company could reduce its annual carbon footprint by the equivalent of about 300,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. That’s about the same amount of the greenhouse gas produced by 30,000 homes in the UK every year, according to a University of Bristol press release.

People watch a billion hours of YouTube every day, and each of those views sucks up energy. There’s your phone or computer, the internet or cell network that carries the video to you, and the servers at data centers that host videos and send them on their way. By simply allowing people to listen to videos without the images, Youtube could save a lot of carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere.

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