YouTube Follows Netflix’s Lead, Blames ISP


Following the news that Netflix is notifying users when their ISP is too crowded to stream their entertainment at the highest quality, users continue to get informed, as YouTube follows Netflix with similar messages.

YouTube is starting to send onscreen messages to users whose videos are buffering for an extended time, letting them know that their Internet Service Provider is the reason for the sluggish streaming performance.

According to a report from, the message from YouTube reads, “Experiencing interruptions?” Then there’s a link that says, “Find out why,” where you are directed to Google’s Video Quality Report, which is basically like a report card for your ISP.

YouTube Follows Netflix

As mentioned, YouTube is following the lead of Netflix, who is not embattled with a media battle with Verizon, after error messages were read by frustrated users, saying, “The Verizon network is crowded right now. Adjusting video for smoother playback …”

Verizon responded to Netflix’s error message by saying it was “deliberately misleading,” and they went on to threaten legal action against the streaming service.

Interestingly, Netflix stopped posting the error messages, but they did defend their reasons for informing users that it was their ISP that ruined their streaming experience.

“Some broadband providers argue that our actions, and not theirs, are causing a degraded Netflix experience. Netflix does not purposely select congested routes. We pay some of the world’s largest transit networks to deliver Netflix video right to the front door of an ISP. Where the problem occurs is at that door — the interconnection point — when the broadband provider hasn’t provided enough capacity to accommodate the traffic their customer requested.”

Netflix said the broadband notifications were a small test they were running in May, but that they ended it on June 16. There’s still a great possibility that the notifications will roll out on a grander scale in the coming months.

As the FCC begins to craft new net neutrality rules, the streaming services and Internet Service Providers are sure to jockey for position over the next few months — and the coming years. Hearing that YouTube follows Netflix in this fight shouldn’t be surprising. This appears to be the new entertainment battle, eventually replacing the network-vs-cable provider battles we’ve grown accustomed to.