Microsoft announces the Azure Media Service private preview, shows off new features and talks partnerships

Kareem Anderson

Image Credit: WinBeta

Microsoft’s recent golden child Azure has been making some waves with its ability to scale and host a varied degree of services. Over the last couple of years, Microsoft’s Azure service has become home to education, government, enterprise, small business and network televisions services alike. With today’s announcement, Microsoft is adding features to it’s Azure Media Service product to expand Azure’s reach to more content owners and providers.

Last year, the Azure Media Service team launched the Next Generation of Sports Network (NGSN) as well successfully hosting the 2015 Superbowl on it’s services. Since then, the Azure Media Services have also been adding telecos and international broadcasters like FujiTV in Japan and Telenet in Belgium. At the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show this year, Microsoft is announcing some key service additions, certifications and partnerships that should help Azure become a more full featured and end-to-end solution for cloud-based media workflows.

First up is Live Encoding Preview – The Azure Media Service team is offering private previews of their new live encoding. Content owners will now be able to use Azure’s Live encoding in combination with more some of the same services used by the Azure Media team to power the 2015 Superbowl and 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Broadcasters will now be able to use Live encoding alongside dynamic packaging, dynamic encryption, dynamic manifest manipulation, ad-maker insertion, sub-clipping, dynamic build comprehensive line, linear, and cloud DVR workflows.

Image Credit: Microsoft

Azure Media Player – This addition allows content providers access to an automated player solution. The player should allow for content play on most modern devices in addition to finding the best streaming format for that device. Now content owners and partners can reach even more with their media as it spans across devices and a wide range of modern browsers. Aside from the automation of the player, the seamless transitions from using HTML5, MSE, EME back down to Flash and Silverlight, allows content owners the ability to reallocate those resources towards something else.

Spanish Language Support for Azure Media Indexer – This new addition should help bolster the Speech-to-Text engine service for content owners of Spanish languages. The new indexing should also help with the monetization of audio tracks from sporting events to surveillance and security.

New compliance certifications – The Azure Media Service is also getting the necessary certifications to help protect premium media content in the cloud for owners. The team is announcing their newly obtained Content Protection and Security Program certification from the Content Delivery Security Association. With a CDSA certification, content owners using Azure Media Services platform will have access to enterprise-grade security protection of their content. Always a plus.

Clearleap Partnership – Lastly, the Azure Media Service team has partnered with powerful OTT video solutions provider, Clearleap. With this new partnership, Clearleap will combine its broad range of SaaS services and Azure Media Services to provide its customers a full-range of on-demand and live solutions.

The Azure Media Services team promises they will continue to push forward in areas of scalability, cost-efficiency and delivering a complete end-to-end solution for content owners. In the meantime, interested parties can continue to follow their blog or sign up for previews when available.