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November 28, 2017 |

AWS Announces Family of Five AWS Media Services for Complete Video Workflows

AWS Elemental Media Services enable video providers to accelerate innovation, improve reliability, increase scale, monetize their offerings, and reduce total cost of ownership for processing live and on-demand video content in the cloud

BT, Pac-12 Networks, Amazon Prime Video, Fox Sports Australia, fuboTV, Nine, Spuul, M2A Media, Cinépolis, and IMAGICA are among the major providers relying on AWS Elemental Media Services to enhance consumers’ video experience

At AWS re:Invent, Amazon Web Services (AWS), an company, announced five AWS Elemental Media Services, an integrated suite of services that make it easy for video providers of all kinds to create reliable, flexible, and scalable video offerings in the cloud. Based on AWS Elemental video solutions, these five new cloud services let customers build end-to-end workflows for both live and on-demand video with the professional features, image quality, and reliability needed to deliver premium video experiences to viewers across a multitude of devices. With just a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, customers can build customized video applications and pay only for the technology resources they use, without upfront capital investment.†

Whether for entertainment, sports, news, education, community engagement, or corporate alignment, consumers today expect great video experiences delivered securely and reliably to any device including tablets, smart phones, connected TVs, or set-top boxes. Previously, to meet these high expectations, video providers had to procure very expensive, specialized broadcast equipment that was inflexible, slow to adapt to new device platforms, hard to scale to meet times of peak demand, and often lacked support for the latest video formats, resolutions, and streaming techniques. What’s more, if the video provider wanted to adopt new revenue-generating business models, such as personalized advertising to a global customer base, they needed to spend considerable time and effort making that work seamlessly across all devices.

AWS Elemental Media Services eliminate the need to procure expensive equipment for video data centers. These services automate what were previously complex, labor-intensive processes that manage on-going video operations. And, AWS Elemental Media Services let video providers avoid wasted infrastructure due to on-going technology obsolescence. With AWS Elemental Media Services, which combine the proven broadcast-quality video solutions from AWS Elemental with the security, durability, availability, and scalability of AWS, video providers can focus on making great content that is delivered via the cloud instead of building and maintaining on-premises video infrastructure. Projects that once took months or years—such as standing up 24×7 live broadcast channels, converting a library of video-on-demand (VOD) assets for distribution, or streaming a high-profile live event—can now be completed in a fraction of the time with AWS Elemental Media Services. Additionally, by using AWS Elemental Media Services, video providers can also incorporate personalized advertisements into streaming video using advanced techniques to generate additional revenues with their video content.

“For the better part of six decades, professional-grade video workflows were limited to a few major industry players who could afford to build and maintain customized infrastructure that would be updated only once or twice each decade,” said Alex Dunlap, General Manager at AWS Elemental. “These companies spent a great deal of time, money, and focus operating infrastructure with resources that could have been better spent creating great content and viewer experiences. We built AWS Elemental Media Services to let customers focus on delivering top-quality video reliably to any device, everywhere, without the undifferentiated heavy lifting of managing infrastructure. This not only helps traditional video providers innovate faster, but it also opens up new opportunities for startups, government agencies, schools, and multinational enterprises that, before today, had limited access to premium-quality video technology.”

AWS Elemental Media Services include the following individual services:

  • AWS Elemental MediaConvert: Format and compress video-on-demand content for delivery to virtually any playback device, with high-quality video transcoding and broadcast-level features.
  • AWS Elemental MediaLive:†Encode broadcast-grade live video for televisions or connected devices. Quickly stand up broadcast channels or live events and deliver them reliably to your viewers.
  • AWS Elemental MediaPackage:†Prepare and protect live video streams for delivery to Internet devices with rich playback experience features such as start-over TV.
  • AWS Elemental MediaStore:†Deliver video from high-performance storage optimized for media.
  • AWS Elemental MediaTailor:†Insert targeted advertising into your video without sacrificing quality to increase viewer engagement and boost revenues.

Customers involved in the extensive private preview of AWS Elemental Media Services provided the following feedback on the services.

BT is one of the world’s leading communications services companies, serving customers in the UK and more than 170 countries. To power its next-generation video headend infrastructure which delivers video both to Internet-connected devices and traditional broadcast set-top boxes, BT is looking to leverage AWS. “Rationalizing our on-premises converged headend and extending that infrastructure widely across the BT enterprise requires an all-in shift to the cloud,” said Ian Parr, Director TV and Broadband Infrastructure for BT. “AWS Elemental has played a key role in our TV and Sport platform evolution over the past few years. The new AWS Elemental Media Services are a natural extension of media workflows to the cloud. The ease of use of these AWS console-based services for end-to-end workflows will provide a level of flexibility and efficiency that will be a game changer for our industry while providing a flexible option that can coexist with legacy on-premises live and on-demand infrastructures deployments.”

Every year, Pac-12 Networks offers live coverage of 850 sporting events, making it one of the top live sports producers in the United States. “To keep our focus on the core mission of delivering the best experience with viewership of our live broadcasts and events, and to stay ahead of technology at a fraction of the traditional cost, we are excited to turn to the cloud with AWS,” said Mark Kramer, Vice President, Engineering & Technology for Pac-12 Networks. “We look forward to launching our TV Everywhere offering of all seven Pac-12 Networks linear channels, as well as the hundreds of live event streams produced by our schools through Pac-12 Plus, on the AWS Elemental MediaStore service in the coming months. AWS offers end-to-end ingest-to-delivery workflow support, and we plan to leverage these latest services to provide live and on-demand Pac-12 networks content for millions of viewers.”

Amazon Prime Video is streaming 11 NFL games this season—including 10†Thursday Night Football†match-ups and a special Christmas Day game—to tens of millions of customers in more than 200 countries and territories. The live coverage is available across more than 600 devices, from living room devices like smart TVs and Amazon Fire TVs to Amazon Prime Video mobile apps on iOS and Android, Fire Tablets, and the web. “Offering live sports like NFL games globally, over-the-top on a large number of devices is complex, and we built our end-to-end architecture in the cloud,” said BA Winston, Global Head of Video Playback and Delivery for Amazon Video. “We used the AWS Elemental MediaTailor service, which allows us to deliver targeted ads that are seamlessly inserted into the main content, for a great viewer experience. Our end-to-end architecture was engineered for low latency to minimize time-behind-live performance, and we implemented user-centric features like viewer-selectable audio tracks. I am confident that AWS Elemental Media Services are the path to use the cloud for live streaming at scale.”

FOX SPORTS Australia Pty Limited (FOX SPORTS) is Australia’s leading producer of sports coverage and is home to Australia’s favorite subscription television sports channels as well as Australia’s number one multi-sports website and app. “Committed to improving the viewing experience on any device for fans across Australia, FOX SPORTS is at the vanguard of sports broadcast innovation,” said Alastair Robertson, Chief Technology Officer for FOX SPORTS Australia. “Delivering live sport on this scale to our subscribers requires scale, so we’re looking to adopt the AWS Cloud and to leverage the end-to-end live event and content monetization workflows only available in the cloud through AWS Elemental Media Services.”

fuboTV, the live streaming TV service that offers more than 30,000 sports events per year, has expanded its base package to include more than 65 channels including more channels that carry sports programming.†Looking to monetize content through personalized ad insertion, fuboTV is using AWS Elemental Media Services to enable its live offering.†”Timely content and a strong user experience are central to our business. Our growth requires continuous innovation, including launching new channels,†user interface functionality,†and upgraded apps,” said Sung Ho Choi, Co-Founder of fuboTV. “AWS Elemental Media Services not only help us with these launches, but let us quickly test new monetization strategies, allowing us to focus our resources on creating the best sports streaming service in the market.”

Nine is a broadcast and video content business across entertainment, news, sports and lifestyle programming in Australia. Nine trialed the new AWS Elemental Media Services, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaPackage, to expand its live streaming video offerings through the main 9News website. “In our preview of the new AWS Elemental Media Services, we have been impressed by the speed of setup of an AWS Elemental MediaLive encoding, AWS Elemental MediaPackage and Amazon CloudFront CDN workflow to rapidly start delivering a live streaming service in minutes,” said Mat Yelavich, Nine’s Chief Information Officer. “We see plenty of opportunity to mature and expand our live streaming capabilities with AWS Elemental Media Services.”

Singapore based Spuul is one of the leading VOD service providers across the globe, with the service being consumed across a number of platforms.†To support its live streaming service, including 150 linear TV channels for viewers in Australia and New Zealand as well as for future global expansion, Spuul is turning to AWS Elemental Media Services. “We must overcome immense geographic distances and time zone differences to provide the best possible viewer experiences. We are looking to AWS Elemental MediaLive to give us tremendous scale, elasticity, and flexibility within our video processing and delivery infrastructure and AWS Elemental MediaPackage to support functionalities such as channel delay, seven-day catch-up, and start-over,” said S Mohan, Co-Founder & CEO, Spuul.

M2A Media, a leader in cloud media services, offers innovative live streaming and live capture solutions to content publishers worldwide. “Running live event workflows in the cloud allows us to deliver the flexibility, reliability and scale our customers demand,” said Marcus Box, Chief Technology Officer for M2A Media. “AWS Elemental offers a best in market transcode solution and AWS Elemental Cloud extends this with the robustness and scale of AWS. The new AWS Elemental Media Services are a great evolution of the product suite that will enable us to build live workflows for both subscription and ad-supported publishers. We’re really excited about the potential of these new products and what they can offer our live event publishers.”

As one of the largest global cinema operators with nearly 850,000 seats across 13 countries, Cinépolis is expanding its theatrical experience with the addition of multi-platform content delivery and an OTT service known as Cinépolis KLIC. “The AWS Elemental Media Services were a perfect fit for us as they cover many of the requirements we had in order to achieve the resilience and quality required for our live events and on-demand services,” said Marco de la Cruz, Sub-Director, Cinépolis KLIC. “AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaConvert could be considered our ‘Cloud 2.0’ with their serverless architecture and embedded redundancy per event. Working with AWS Elemental Media Services has enabled us to free up time to build up redundant workflows quickly and easily as well as to focus on innovating new services and enhancing our existing offers.”

IMAGICA†Corporation is a†Japanese post-production†company for movies, television programs, and commercials. “Now, with AWS Elemental MediaConvert, we can confidently commit to customers’ schedules and†deliver content in the multiple formats at high quality at low cost while meeting deadlines. For example, AWS Elemental MediaConvert recently transcoded 600 hours of content in only six hours at high video quality. This kind of performance lets us enhance our customers’ production value,” said Takaaki Kudo, Manager R&D Group Technology Administration Dept. for IMAGICA.

AWS Elemental Media Services integrate seamlessly with other AWS services, allowing customers to augment their video workflows with offerings such as AWS Direct Connect and AWS Snowball for content ingestion; Amazon CloudFront for content delivery; Amazon CloudWatch for monitoring; and Amazon Rekognition for artificial intelligence.

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