AWS unveils Amazon Interactive Video Service (Amazon IVS)

Amazon IVS workflow diagram

Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) has announced the general availability of Amazon Interactive Video Service (Amazon IVS), a new fully managed service ready 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, giving customers live content with latency that can be less than three seconds.

Customers can configure and stream live video through their own website or mobile application, with scalable delivery. 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, customers 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. 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. For example, “a developer making a trivia application or a virtual town hall can use the API to ensure that viewers see the same questions at the same moment in the live video stream”.

“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.”

Amazon Live is a page on Amazon.com where shoppers can discover livestream content and browse recorded livestreams. “With Amazon IVS, handling live video streams is very simple, which means we can devote more time to producing engaging content and features that allow viewers to interact with creators in real-time,” commented John Katsavrias, Senior Development Manager, Amazon Live. “Amazon IVS enabled us to move quickly to unlock our creators’ ability to livestream so they can produce awesome content that inspires customers and helps them discover new products.”

The Amazon IVS Management Console and APIs for control and creation of streams are available in the US East (N. Virginia), US 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.

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