Importance of Green Streaming for a Green World and Best Practices

The world just celebrated Earth Day and social media showed us how every organization and individual is prioritizing sustainability. Recycling, shopping vintage, composting, using public transportation, and so many more aspects are being focused on to minimize our global carbon footprint.

But did you know that your streaming practices also add up to the global carbon footprint? Streaming media is calculated to contribute 3-4% of global greenhouse gases. The data centers, web routers, distribution networks, and devices need electricity to operate, which is powered by fossil fuels. Considering the climate crisis we have created and the recent rise in consciousness of it, the entertainment industry also needs to follow suit by practicing more sustainable streaming methods, also known as green streaming. Green streaming aims to reduce the environmental impact of the growing entertainment industry.

As the demand for high-definition streaming increased post the COVID-19, energy consumption also increased along with carbon emissions. With new devices, streaming formats, features, and security levels coming up almost every month, new practices of using environmental-friendly methods to deliver multimedia content need to be followed.

The broadcast and streaming service providers should use renewable energy sources to power data centers and servers to make the production and distribution of content more sustainable. They must also optimize processes to reduce power consumption by implementing best practices such as:

Introduce new codecs and standards-compliant algorithms: This will reduce bitrate and bandwidth consumption leading to a lower carbon footprint as it uses less storage, streaming capability, and caching.

Use an elastic CDN: By enabling the system to bring the most popular content to the edge, away from the central hub, elastic CDN reduces the necessary bandwidth and cost, as well.

Enable energy consumption control: Allow users to customize features such as power-saving modes, screen brightness, and automatic device turn-off when not in use.

Allow single device usage only at once: This will reduce the number of devices used, reducing carbon footprint.

Encourage streaming on a smaller devices: Devices such as laptop or phone emits significantly less carbon dioxide as compared to TV. You can curate better subscription packages for smaller devices and also spread awareness of the cause.

Implement advanced technology: Organizations can use shared workflows and resources, for both live and time-shifted videos to reduce bandwidth requirements as each profile will be sent and stored only once. Moreover, broadcasters and streaming service providers can implement technology that will deliver content with just-in-time processing so that it is processed only when it is needed by viewers. This also reduces the need for hardware resources and CPU storage, leading to lower power consumption and increased sustainability of the service.

Using sustainable practices, businesses and organizations will not only reduce their environmental impact but also save money on energy costs. Moreover, customers these days, prioritize eco-friendly products and services over organizations negligent of the global climate crisis. Hulu, the American subscription streaming service provider, migrated its data centers to a new facility that’s 100% powered by renewable energy and made an eco-friendly move back in 2018.

As concerns about the environment continue to grow, green streaming will play an important role in shaping the future of the entertainment industry. Further addition of technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain, is rising energy consumption. So as a streaming service provider, it is important to mitigate the risks of climate change without interrupting the viewing experience. Let’s join hands in this collective drive toward reducing carbon emissions. At Magnaquest, we believe in using renewable energy, energy-efficient equipment with minimum wastage, and promote eco-friendly practices through our subscription billing solution, SURE.


  • Sharath Pothuganti

    Sharath makes his 12 years of experience in the IT field, deep technical expertise, engineering knowledge and team management experience, count in delivering customer-tailored solutions. His business expertise includes identification of customer needs, partnerships and provisioning of solution architecture. As part of the product marketing team Sharath’s focus is on OTT business development and shaping Magnaquest’s software product, Sure based on market need.