AWS Announces Amazon Interactive Video Service (Amazon IVS)
Today, Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), announced the general availability of Amazon Interactive Video Service (Amazon IVS), a new fully managed service that makes it easy to set up live, interactive video streams for a web or mobile application in just a few minutes. Amazon IVS uses the same technology that powers Twitch, one of the most popular live streaming services in the world with nearly 10 billion hours of video watched in 2019, giving customers live content with latency (the time video takes to go from the camera to the viewer) that can be less than three seconds (significantly lower than the 20-30 second latencies common with online streaming video today). Customers can easily configure and stream live video through their own website or mobile application, with scalable delivery that supports millions of concurrent viewers globally. With the Amazon IVS SDK and APIs, customers can also build interactive features into their live streams like virtual chat spaces, votes and polls, moderated question and answer sessions, and synchronized promotional elements. There are no additional charges or upfront commitments required to use Amazon IVS, and customers pay only for video input to Amazon IVS and video output delivered to viewers. To get started with Amazon IVS, visit https://aws.amazon.com/ivs.
Online audiences are increasingly turning to mobile and web applications for live video across sports, entertainment, education, and work. Today’s viewers require higher-resolution content and smooth video playback without buffering or delays no matter where they are or what device or application they are using. Viewers have also come to expect more interactivity in live streaming, so they can engage with those experiences (and others watching) as events unfold, not moments after they happen. Setting up the infrastructure to keep pace with consumer demand for live video is complex, time consuming, and expensive. Today, it takes customers months to build interactive applications with video workflows for content ingestion, processing, and distribution, and then they still need to configure transcoders for adaptive-bitrate-formatted streaming to support multiple types of devices, select the appropriate streaming protocols, set up the content delivery networks (CDNs), and integrate video players. Even after all this work, live-streamed interactive content still requires minimal latency for a good user experience. However, traditional video streaming requires video to be produced in various resolutions and divided into segments for delivery. Multiple segments are then stored in a buffer by the viewer’s video player so that playback resolution can be changed depending on the viewer’s network and device to optimize quality of service, all of which creates a lot of extra latency. This can mean that viewers experience latencies of 20-30 seconds, making it impossible for content creators to interact live with their audiences without sacrificing service quality.