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Media Services

Encode, store, and stream video and audio at scale

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With Azure Media Services, you can transfer any media information anywhere in the world using the cloud on any device. The service set includes encoding, live or on-demand streaming, content protection, and indexing for video and audio.

Pricing Details

Encoding Live Video Streaming Content Protection Media Analytics

Video on Demand (VoD) encoding

Standard Encoder transcodes video and audio input files into output formats suitable for playback on a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, PCs, game consoles and televisions.Premium Encoder transcodes formats common to broadcast and movie applications, and supports video workflows that require complex logic. See our documentationfor an in-depth comparison of the two encoders’ features.

*The following prices are tax-inclusive.

*Monthly pricing estimates are based on 744 hours of usage per month.
Standard Encoder 1 Premium Encoder new
¥0.09858/output minute (about ¥4400.61/month) ¥0.35616/output minute (about ¥15,898.9824/month)

1 The charges for output minutes apply only to the successful operation.

Output minutes multiplier

To calculate the total output minutes for an encoding task, the following multiplier will be used.

Quality Multiplier Examples
SD (less than 1280 x 720) 1x 10 minutes of SD output count as 10 SD minutes
HD(1280×720 - 1920x1080) 2x 10 minutes of HD output count as 20 SD minutes
UHD (greater than 1920x1080, up to 4096x2160) 4x 10 minutes of HD output count as 40 SD minutes
Audio only output 0.25x 4 minutes of output audio count as 1 SD minute

Example: If there is a QuickTime video with a resolution of 1920x1080p and a duration of 20 minutes, then it will encode as a mono track MP4 output with the same resolution of 1920x1080p. The effective multiplier will be 2 (HD) plus 0.25 (audio) with a total multiplier of 2.25. The total billing minutes will be (20 minutes x 2.25) = 45 output minutes. If Media Encoder Standard is applied for encoding, the cost will be (45 output minutes x ¥0.09858/output minutes) = ¥4.4361

See FAQ for more examples.

There may also be Storage Space and Data Transmission Rates that will be billed at standard Azure rates.

Media reserved units

If the workload requires running multiple tasks at the same time, a Media reserved unit is recommended. The overall throughput of the service can be increased by:

  • Increasing the number of media reserved units to achieve parallel processing of more tasks
  • Using faster media reserved units (e.g. S3)

For more details, refer to How to Use the Azure Classic Management Portal to Scale Media Processing.

*The following prices are tax-inclusive.

*Monthly pricing estimates are based on 744 hours of usage per month.
  S1(Basic) S2(Standard) S3(Premium)
Price/unit ¥0.13144/hour (about ¥97.79/month) ¥0.26288/hour (about ¥195.58/month) ¥0.52576/hour (about ¥391.17/month)
Other parallel tasks 1 / unit 1 / unit 1 / unit
Relative performance   About 2 times the Basic Edition About 4 times the Basic Edition

Live Events

Live Events (also known as Channels in legacy APIs) enable you to stream content to your audience in near real time. Live Events are used in conjunction with streaming units to provide live streaming service. For details on streaming unit pricing please refer to the streaming section of this page. Your options for Live Events are the following.

*The following prices are tax-inclusive.

*Monthly pricing estimates are based on 744 hours of usage per month.
LIVE ENCODING TYPE PASS-THROUGH (NONE) STANDARD LIVE ENCODING PREMIUM LIVE ENCODING
Maximum resolution of output stream Up to 4K at 60 frames/sec Up to 720p at 30 frames/sec Up to 1080p at 30 frames/sec
Multi-bitrate encoding Not Available Yes Yes
Price ¥6.40/hour ¥20.25/hour ¥31.057/hour 1
1 Billing is prorated per second. Billing is based on the amount of time the Live Event entity is in a running state,whether or not there is any video flowing through the service. Stop the Live Event entity when not in use to avoid unnecessary charges.

For all Live Event types, billing is based on the amount of time it is in running state, whether there is video being streamed through the service. For details on Live Event states and billing, please refer to the FAQ below.

Storage and data transfer rates may also apply and will be charged at standard Azure rates.

Deliver on-demand and live video streaming to customers on a large scale in multiple formats. Standard and Advanced streaming services can deliver content directly to media player applications or content delivery networks (CDNs) for further distribution.

Streaming unit provides dedicated bandwidth capacity for on-demand and live streaming. Live Channel (utilized with streaming units) provides live streaming capability.

Media Services customers can choose Standard endpoints or one or more Premium streaming units according to their needs. The Standard streaming endpoint is suitable for high workloads. It has the same functionality as the Premium streaming units and can automatically scale outbound bandwidth. The Premium streaming units are suitable for high workloads and provides dedicated, scalable bandwidth capacity. The Premium streaming unit will "stack", which means that each enabled unit will provide additional bandwidth capacity for the application. The Standard streaming endpoint will not "stack"; instead, it automatically scales bandwidth based on bandwidth requirements. Please visit the Media Services Functions page for more information on the service.

Billing for stream processing is jointly determined by the stream processing service and the amount of data transferred. After enabling Azure CDN through the Media Services Portal or APIs of stream processing endpoints, Standard CDN Pricing applies to all transmitted data. If Azure CDN is not enabled for stream processing endpoints, data transfer is charged according to Data Transfer Pricing .

Streaming Units

*The following prices are tax-inclusive.

*Monthly pricing estimates are based on 744 hours of usage per month.
  Standard Streaming Endpoint(Preview) Premium Streaming Units
Price (per unit) ¥423.894/month 1 ¥938.15/month 1
Trial 15 days 2 N/A
Bandwidth Up to 600 Mbp from streaming units and scales with CDN Up to 200 Mbps/unit

1 Billing is prorated daily based on 31 days per month.

2 For new accounts, 1 standard streaming endpoint will be available within 15 days with no additional cost. Normal pricing applies to additional Standard endpoints and Premium streaming units. The trial period starts with the start of the first endpoint and ends after 15 calendar days.

Preview pricing subject to change upon general availability.

PlayReady

Ensure asset security with PlayReady Digital Rights Management (DRM), Apple FairPlay Streaming, or encryption with clear key advanced encryption standard (AES). Pricing is made on the number of licenses or keys issued by the service.

*The following prices are tax-inclusive.

  PlayReady
Pricing ¥1.34/100 licenses

Advanced encryption standard (AES) Keys

*The following prices are tax-inclusive.

  AES key
Pricing ¥0.67/100 keys

There may also be Storage and Data Transmission Rates that will be charged at standard Azure rates.

FairPlay

*The following prices are tax-inclusive.

  FairPlay
Pricing ¥1.3144/100 licenses

Indexing

By extracting speech content, video files and media are searchable. The pricing of Azure Media Indexer depends on the duration of the input file. If possible, the indexer will utilize the media reserved unit for parallel running of speech processing tasks (Note: Index jobs cannot recognize standard version encoded units that have performance-enhanced standard coding units).

*The following prices are tax-inclusive.

*Monthly pricing estimates are based on 744 hours of usage per month.
  Indexer 1
First 20,000 minutes/month ¥0.34/content minute
The next 180,000 minutes/month (20,000 to 200,000 minutes) ¥0.33/content minute
The next 800,000 minutes/month (200,000 to 1,000,000 minutes) ¥0.29/content minute
Over 1,000,000 minutes/month ¥0.26/content minute

1 The cost is prorated by minutes, and the minimum fee is charged starting from five minutes.

Redactor

The video is anonymized by detecting and obscuring the faces of selected individuals. The Azure Media Redactor is very applicable to public security and news media programs. Pricing depends on the duration and resolution of the input file. Where possible, the Redactor may also use the media reserved unit to run video parallel-processing tasks. (Note: the Service Level Agreement of the Redactor is only applicable to the S3 media reserved unit). For more details, please refer to our documentation.

  S1 S2 S3
Supported Input Resolutions 1 640x480 and below 641x481 to 1280x720 1281x721 to 1920x1200
The first 50,000 minutes/month 2 ¥0.212/Content Minutes (¥12.72/hour) ¥0.424/Content Minutes (¥25.44/hour) ¥0.848/Content Minutes (¥50.88/hour)
The next 950,000 minutes (50,001 - 1,000,000 minutes)/month ¥0.197/content-minutes (¥11.82 /hour) ¥0.394/Content Minutes (¥23.64/hour) ¥0.788/Content Minutes (¥47.28/hour)
Over 1,000,000 minutes/month ¥0.172 /content-min (¥10.32 /hour) ¥0.344/Content Minutes (¥20.64/hour) ¥0.688/Content Minutes (¥41.28/hour)
1 The two dimensions of the input resolution must be consistent with the supported input resolution of the measurement, otherwise the input resolution will be measured at a higher resolution. (See FAQ for examples.)

2 Minimum usage is one minute. All usages are rounded up to the next minute.

FAQ

Expand all
  • What is a media reserved unit? What are the benefits of using it?

    Adding media reserved units to your account ensures that multiple files can be processed simultaneously, and changing media reserved unit types can affect the speed with which files are processed. For example, if an account has 3 S1 media reserved units, up to 3 files can be processed simultaneously. Changing the reserved unit type to S3 will allow faster processing of individual files. For more details, please refer to our documentation.

  • Can I scale media reserved units? Are there limits?

    Yes, the number of media reserved units in an account is scalable. Although there are default limits in the Azure portal (For example, up to 25 S2 media reserved units are allowed), they are not mandatory. If you require higher limits, please contact us.

  • Do I have to pay higher fees for high-priority jobs?

    No, fees are charged depending on output minutes and the number of media reserved units. For more information, please refer to the following examples.

  • If I use the media reserved unit, do I still have to pay the encoding fee based on the output minutes?

    Yes, fees are charged depending on the encoding output minutes of the media reserved unit. Standard encoder: ¥0.09858/output minute.

  • Can you provide some examples of coding costs?

    Example 1: Joe uses a standard encoder to process 30 encoding jobs. Each job will create 10 output minutes (300 output minutes in total). Joe uses an S1 media reserved unit (RU) which needs 2 hours for running for each job. Joe spends 60 hours in a row on the S1 RU and then turns off the RU (setting the number of RUs to zero).

    • Output minutes (standard encoder): 300 x ¥0.09858 /minute = ¥29.574
    • S1 media reserved unit: 1 unit x 60 hours x ¥0.13144 /hour = ¥7.8864d
    • Total cost: ¥37.4604

    Example 2: Joe uses a standard encoder to process 30 encoding jobs. Each job will create 10 output minutes (300 output minutes in total). This time, Joe uses three S2 media reserved units (RUs). Each job will take only 1 hour to complete, so it takes only 10 hours to complete 30 jobs. Joe spends a total of 10 hours in a row on 3 S2 RU and then turns off the RU (the RU number was set to zero).

    • Output minutes (standard encoder): 300 x ¥0.09858 /minute = ¥29.574
    • S2 media reserved unit: 3 unit x 10 hours x ¥0.26288 /hour = ¥7.8864
    • Total cost: ¥37.4604

    Example 3: Joe has a two-hour movie with resolution of 1920x1080. He uses a standard encoder to encode it with a default “H264 multiple bit rate 1080p” preset to stream movies to iOS and Android devices. The encoding preset generates 3 HD output videos, 5 SD output videos, and 1 audio. The total minutes for this encoding job is (3x2 + 5 + 0.25) = 11.25. Therefore, the total output minutes will be 11.25 x 2 x 60 = 1,350. The total cost is 1,350 x ¥0.09858/min = ¥133.083.

  • How much is the charge for creating a thumbnail image
    Both sides of the input video must be consistent with the supported input resolution of each measurement. For example, a video with resolution of 600x481 that exceeds the maximum 640x480 resolution of S1, both sides greater than 480, will be regarded as an S2 measurement.
  • If I use two S1 media reserved units in a certain period in a day and then use four S3 media reserved units on the same day, how do you charge me for that? Do you charge the same way if I use a streaming unit?

    You will be charged according to the actual minutes of the media reserved unit. The following is a more detailed example. Suppose Joe starts with zero media reserved units (RUs), and his account is set to use two S1 RUs at 10:00AM that day. In the afternoon other videos arrived, he changes his account to use 4 S3 RUs at 1:15PM. All videos are processed before 4:00PM, then he closes the RU in the account (setting the RU number to zero). Joe's usage is as follows.

    • S1 media reserved unit: 2 units x 3.25 hours (10AM to 1:15PM) x ¥0.13144 /hour = ¥0.85436
    • S3 media reserved unit: 4 units x 2.75 hours (1:15PM to 4PM) x ¥0.52576 /hour = ¥5.78336

    Therefore, the total cost arising out of Joe's use of the media reserved unit is ¥0.85436 + ¥5.78336 = ¥6.63772

    Unlike the media reserved unit, the charge for the streaming unit is based on the maximum number of streaming units configured per day (high watermarks).

  • If the media reserved unit or the streaming unit has not been used for a period of more than one month, am I going to be charged on a monthly basis?

    No, the charge for the media reserved unit is based on the number of minutes, while that for the streaming unit is on a daily basis.

    To understand the cost of coding items, please visit media service calculator page.

  • What is a streaming unit? What are the benefits of using it?

    The streaming unit provides a set of private resources for content streaming, so that each unit can increase the guaranteed bandwidth throughput up to 200 Mbps.

  • Can I purchase multiple streaming units?

    Yes, you can buy multiple streaming units for content streaming.

  • If I use two streaming units for a portion of a day, and four streaming units later that day, how am I charged?

    You are charged based on the highest number of streaming units that are provisioned each day. In this example, you will be charged for four streaming units for that day.

  • How do I get billed for live streaming?

    It depends on the current state of a Live Event. Possible values include:

    • Stopped. This is the initial state of the Live Event after its creation. In this state, the Live Event properties can be updated but streaming is not allowed.
    • Starting. The Live Event is being started. No updates or streaming are allowed during this state. If an error occurs, the Live Event returns to the "Stopped" state.
    • Running. The Live Event is capable of processing live streams.
    • Stopping. The Live Event is being stopped. No updates or streaming are allowed during this state.
    • Deleting. The Live Event is being deleted. No updates or streaming are allowed during this state.

    The following table shows how the states map to the billing mode.

    Live Event state Billed?
    Starting No (transient state)
    Running Yes
    Stopping No (transient state)
    Stopped No
  • Can you provide an example for the cost of a live streaming an event?

    Scenario: Stella wants to stream a 2-hour sporting event and intends to use a Live Event with Standard Live Encoding-

    1. Stella sets up the Live Event and starts it 20 minutes before the event begins. The Live Event is in the “Starting” state for 5 minutes.
      • Stella is not billed during this time
    2. After starting, the Live Event moves into the “Running” state ready to receive a stream. The Live Event remains in the "Running” state for 15 minutes.
      • Stella does get billed for this period
    3. The event begins streaming on-time and lasts 2 hours or 120 minutes.
      • Stella gets billed for this period
    4. Stella stops the video feed but does not stop the Live Event, Stella leaves the Live Event in this mode for 5 minutes.
      • Stella does get billed for this period
    5. Stella then streams a post-game show for 30 minutes.
      • Stella gets billed for this period
    6. After the post-game show, Stella immediately stops the Live Event and deletes it.
      • Stella is not billed during this time

    In total the Live Event was in the “Running” state for 170 minutes (15 minutes with no stream before the event + 120 minute event + 5 minutes with no stream after event + 30 minute post-game show). The charges are:

    170 minutes x ¥40.50/60 = ¥114.75

  • How does the Redactor measure non-standard video resolution?

    Both sides of the input video must be consistent with the supported input resolution for each measurement. For example, a video with resolution of 600x481 that exceeds the maximum 640x480 resolution of S1, where both sides are greater than 480, will be regarded as an S2 measurement.

Support & SLA

If you have any questions or need help, please visit Azure Support and select self-help service or any other method to contact us for support.

  1. For media service coding, we promise that the availability of REST API transactions can be up to 99.9%.
  2. For streaming media, if you buy at least one streaming unit, we promise to successfully process requests for existing media content with 99.9% availability.
  3. For live channels, we promise that the channel being played will remain externally connected at least 99.9% of the time.
  4. For content protection, we promise to successfully process keyword requests at least 99.9% of the time.
  5. For Indexer, we will successfully process Indexer task requests through code-reserved units at least 99.9% of the time.

To learn more about the details of our Service Level Agreement, please visit the Service Level Agreements page.

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