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Windows Azure Media Services


In Webnodes version 4.6, a new media streaming service from Windows Azure has become an integrated solution in Webnodes. This cloud-based service solves several challenges around managing video files online. Windows Azure Media Services has been developed (among other things), to provide licensees a safer and better management of video content online.

Here are some of the challenges this integrated service solves!

  • Automatic conversion of video files into formats supported by mobile and other handheld devices connected to the Internet.
  • Unlike YouTube, the Azure Media Service can be customized to protect the content owner against copying or otherwise unauthorized distribution and use of the video files 
    (We have of course also built-in support for YouTube for those who prefer this)
  • The service uses “progressive download”, causing the actual user experience to appear faster and more efficient. Users can for example jump back and forth in a long video file without buffer-time.
  • Because the service is cloud-based, it scales up automatically during heavy traffic loads, and can store almost unlimited number of video files and gigabytes of data.
  • The video format can be changed from high resolution HD formats to more low-resolution formats as needed.

Pricing

The Webnodes pricing of the service is based on actual usage or consumption of the service. The cost is a combination of a subscription account that Webnodes has signed with Microsoft and each customer’s actual usage of the service. The way it works is similar to for example a mobile phone subscription.

The pricing model from Microsoft is somewhat complicated, and we will save customers from trying to understand this. We have tried to make this easy for our customers to understand. So we have decided to offer a basic subscription package at 120 USD per month. There is a lock-in period of 12 months, and thereafter it can be terminated with a three months’ notice. 

The subscription package covers the following;

Data storage:

  • Up to 20 gigabytes of data storage of video files

Traffic: 

  • Up to 100 gigabytes of data traffic per month.
    This is for example equivalent to approximately 10 000 views of a one minute high resolution (HD) video clip per month. And that is the same as for example 1 000 views of a 10 minute HD video clip per month.

Those customers who consume above these limitations, will be invoiced an addition fee based on actual consumption of the service.

Most customers will find that our basic package is sufficient to meet their requirements regarding online video conversion, storage and streaming. For some businesses with large amounts of video files combined with lots of traffic, might need to extend these restrictions. If you have any doubt about how your spending will look like, or whether the basic subscription will cover your needs, we encourage you to contact us in order to clarify these issues.

Other video and media functionalities.

Windows Azure Media Services is an optional service, and must be activated before it can be used. At the same time we maintain the YouTube support for in Webnodes. This is free, but does not have the same benefits as the new cloud-based service from Windows Azure. We also kept the possibility for customers to upload their video files directly in the media archive in Webnodes, and then publish the content on the website as before. So Windows Azure is a new option in addition to the functionality already existing in Webnodes from before, that we strongly recommend.

We wish you all good luck with our new Azure Media Service, and encourage everyone to contact us if they have questions concerning this.

30.10.2013
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