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07/16/2020

AWS directs managed interactive video service

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Amazon’s cloud computing platform is offering interactive video streaming as a cloud-based turnkey solution. 

Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) is rolling out Amazon Interactive Video Service (Amazon IVS), a new fully-managed service designed to make it easy to set up live, interactive video streams for a web or mobile application in a few minutes. 

Amazon IVS uses the same technology that supports Twitch, Amazon’s game-oriented video streaming platform. The service provides users live content with latency (the time video takes to go from the camera to the viewer) that can be less than three seconds (compared to the 20-30 second latencies common with online streaming video today). 

Users can 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 such as virtual chat spaces, votes and polls, moderated question and answer sessions, and synchronized promotional elements. 

To get started, users send their live video to Amazon IVS using standard streaming software like Open Broadcaster Software (OBS). Amazon IVS ingests the video, then automatically transcodes and optimizes it, making it available for live delivery across AWS-managed global infrastructure in seconds using the same video transfer technology Twitch uses for its live streaming service. 

According to AWS, content creators and developers can use the Amazon IVS player SDK to give audiences a consistent, low-latency live streaming experience across different viewing platforms and devices, without compromising video quality or increasing buffering. 

Customers can then combine the Amazon IVS SDK and APIs to attach structured text data to video streams, and create interactive content, including polls, surveys, and leaderboards, all of which are automatically synchronized to the live video. Amazon itself leverage Amazon IVS to support Amazon Live, a page on Amazon.com where shoppers can discover livestream content and browse recorded livestreams.

"Customers have been asking to use Twitch's video streaming technology on their own platforms for a range of use cases like education, retail, sports, fitness, and more,” said Martin Hess, GM, Amazon IVS. “Now with Amazon IVS, customers can leverage the same innovative technology that has taken Twitch over a decade to build and refine. Any developer can build an interactive live streaming experience into their own application without having to manage the underlying video infrastructure.”

The Amazon IVS management console and APIs for control and creation of streams are available in the U.S. East (northern Virginia), U.S. West (Oregon), and Europe (Ireland) regions, with video ingestion and delivery available around the globe over a separate managed network of infrastructure that is optimized for live video.