Azure Media Services – A Guide for Business Leaders

According to Gartner, end-user expenditure on public cloud facilities was around $332.3 billion in 2021 compared to $270 billion the previous year. This doesn’t come as a surprise since many businesses are migrating their workloads to the cloud. With the increasing prevalence of mobile and web-based applications for daily functions and the associated focus on customer experience, this cloud computing trend is set to continue.

Azure media services is a cloud computing platform that allows businesses to access and manage cloud resources and services. “Media” here refers to videos as a preferred mode of training employees, engaging with customers, and documenting enterprise functions. Cloud computing combined with Azure Media Services is effective in storing, streaming, and accessing large media files. 

Azure Media Services (AMS) – A Primer

Azure Media Services is a cloud-enabled Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enables on-demand video streaming and live broadcast. It features the latest media workflows to facilitate video encoding, transcoding, indexing, streaming, insight extraction, etc. Because of the cloud-based infrastructure, resources are scalable whenever needed. Moreover, it ensures that the videos are accessible from all the leading devices and browsers.

Research suggests that videos have become integral to every department, with over 29% of businesses using them for administrative messaging, 27% for human resources, and 24% for leadership communication. With the increase in video usage, it is imperative to establish an effective video management practice. However, managing videos is more difficult than any other form of data. This is where Azure Media Services comes into the picture, as it streamlines the process to enhance accessibility and ease of use. 

Prerequisites for Using Azure Media Services

Azure Media Services has certain prerequisites for installation to ensure better prospects. It’s crucial to install the correct version to prevent erroneous results.

  • To begin with, you must create an account with Microsoft Azure; you can go for a free trial.
  • Set up a critical developmental environment. To build this environment efficiently, use REST API or. NET. 
  • Get access to the premium streaming endpoints right at the beginning. 

Types of Azure Media Services & Benefits

Azure Media Services possess various workflows for effective management. Initially, it might seem intimidating, but it is not. Noted below are the AMS services and their benefits.


AMS enables studio-grade encoding. It allows businesses to convert videos from the standard format to other standard formats. The major benefit of encoding is that it enables video compression to create smaller files and supports the new format on multiple platforms and devices. Most importantly, it is a secure process that makes batch processing scalable and encodes several files simultaneously.

AMS also supports progressive download and encodes source video into one MP4 file. Likewise, it encourages adaptive bitrate streaming and encodes the source video as one adaptive bitrate file set.

Dynamic Packaging

After encoding the video file into multiple bitrates, Dynamic Packaging is used to deliver videos to an audience for playback via streaming protocols. Viewers can choose their streaming protocols.

The most popular one is HLS, which works on Android and iOS. Thus, it is the most widely used and preferred. Others like Smooth Streaming or MPEG-DASH work on Android OS only.

When requested, adaptive bitrate streaming is performed on a video player depending on the bandwidth conditions to prevent buffering problems. To set this up, technological expertise is required. Plus, most enterprises want to save their resources and time. So, they choose to combine multiple workflows for video streaming.

Azure Indexer

Azure Video Indexer for Media, or Video Analyzer, is a separate service, though it falls under AMS. This service is used to obtain visual insights through AI models. It facilitates automated transcription, optical character recognition (OCR) of on-screen text for indexing, automated speech recognition to index spoken words, face detection, emotion recognition, sentiment analysis, keyword extraction, and label/brand detection.

Content Protector

Finally, content protection supports videos through token verification, DRM licenses, and AES Keys. All videos are encrypted dynamically to ensure the audience can access them in a secure environment. AES-128 and Digital Right Management (DRM) are the provisions that ensure security.

How Azure Media Services Help Enterprises

Azure Media Services offer full-service focused on rich dividends. In essence, AMS is a versatile and cost-effective solution that delivers ultimate functionality and drives productivity. It is a sought-after platform for enterprises considering it’s one of the newest Microsoft services that solve the prospects of data. It helps manage bulk data, warding off the difficulties that enterprises have long been facing in managing big data.

Essentially, Microsoft AMS is a hassle-free platform for data management. It works on the principle of SQL database that scales and extends cloud applications using modern server technology. It can quickly build an HTTP socket API that performs tasks seamlessly. It also enables library class management that provides an easier connection between services. In addition, AMS supports web hosting; developers can build sites in ASP.NET, Node, or Phython and select from multiple open-source applications. 

Altogether, with AMS, enterprises can enable cheaper, easier, and quicker media management while maintaining high-grade media quality. It’s one of the most versatile solutions for administering video content, push notifications, live streaming, and multi-lingual applications.

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