Announcing Windows Azure Media Services

I'm excited to share news about a great new cloud capability we are announcing today - Windows Azure Media Services.

Windows Azure Media Services

Windows Azure Media Services is a cloud-based PaaS solution that enables you to efficiently build and deliver media solutions to customers. It offers a bunch of ready-to-use services that enable the fast ingestion, encoding, format-conversion, storage, content protection, and streaming (both live and on-demand) of video. It also integrates and exposes services provided by industry leading partners – enabling an incredibly deep media stack of functionality that you can leverage.

You can use Windows Azure Media Services to deliver solutions to any device or client - including HTML5, Silverlight, Flash, Windows 8, iPads, iPhones, Android, Xbox, and Windows Phone devices.  Windows Azure Media Services supports a wide variety of streaming formats - including Smooth Streaming, HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), and Flash Media Streaming.

One of the unique aspects of Windows Azure Media Services is that all of its features are exposed using a consistent HTTP REST API. This is true both for the media services we've built, as well as the partner delivered media services that are enabled through it.  This makes it incredibly easy to automate media workflows and integrate the combined set of services within your applications and media solutions. Like the rest of Windows Azure, you only pay for what you use with Windows Azure Media Services – making it a very cost effective way to deliver great solutions.


Windows Azure Media Services uses the same award-winning media backend that has been used to power some of the largest live sporting events ever broadcast on the web - including the 2010 Winter Olympics, 2010 FIFA World Cup, 2011 Wimbledon Championships, and 2012 NFL SuperBowl. Using Windows Azure Media Services you'll now be able to quickly standup and automate media cloud solutions of your own that are capable of delivering amazing solutions to an equal sized audience.

Learn More

We are introducing Windows Azure Media Services at the 2012 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show this week, and attendees can stop by the Microsoft booth there to meet the team and see live demonstrations of it in action.

You can also visit to learn more about the specific features it supports, and visit the media dev center to learn more about how to develop against it. You can sign-up to try out the preview of Windows Azure Media Services by sending email to (along with details of the scenario you'd like to use it for).

We are really excited about the capabilities Windows Azure Media Services provides, and are looking forward to watching the solutions that will soon be built on it.



P.S. In addition to blogging, I am also now using Twitter for quick updates and to share links. Follow me at:


  • This is awesome!

    We've been waiting for this for a long time!

  • Is the REST API public yet? If not, when will it be?

  • This is really great. I'm looking to connect users via video chat rooms, from 2-8 people at once through web cams. Would this platform work well for that?

  • Good news.

    Are there any discounts for BizSpark members?

  • Hey Scott,

    You just made my day!

    We have a product deployed on Azure right now that really needs this service. Currently we are using blob storage to host our media content. We were looking at external services such as Zencoder to provide stream services, however with this announcement we are rethinking our options.

    I'm super exited about these new features and we would love to get into your early adopter program if possible.

  • This sounds really interesting. How does this relate to Azure CDN? Does this use CDN for media storage? Great to see Microsoft leveraging the Azure platform either way.

  • Interesting News...!!! Will be good if given for a free monthly trial to experience the goodness of Media services.

  • Not to ruin the party or anything, but the current Windows Phone browser does not support HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) or Flash Media Streaming, so you need an app to view this content on a WinPhone. Am I right in assuming that that's about to change, then? Would be great! At least national broadcasters BBC (UK) and NRK (Norway) have chosen HLS for their new web-tv offerings, leaving us WinPhone users out in the cold.

  • I think the premise is sound: a distributed data center architecture has already proven itself by Akamai and Layer3 et al. while the handful Microsoft has in servie now will soon become over-saturated.

    Hence, if Azure Media Services is to scale to the point that services such as those I am working on to provide the highest quality "digital TV broadcasting" a destributed data center architecture will become an imperative.

    Wisconsin would be the perfect place for a data center as it sits on ~1500 cm3 of coolant called Lake Michigan, we have electricity generated by nuclear plants, land is dirt cheap in comparison to Illinois or other surrounding states, the current government has become extraordinarily business friendly, Wisconsin is not overly burdened by environmental extremism and the state's population includes a plethora of skilled people qualified to support the operation of the data center.

    A Wisconsin data center would extend high quality Azure Media Services throughout all of America's midwest and North into Canada.

    Our new state motto? We Think Big

  • Correction, let's make that 1,180 cubic miles or 4,918 cm3 of coolant called Lake Michigan.

  • It is great to finally be able to talk about this project publicly. :-) At Wowza, we are very excited about this solution and our role as one of the first "built in" partners.

  • Hi Scott,
    What opportunities are there for Microsoft Partners such as to contribute to the Media Services ecosystem?
    We already provide cloud video encoding services for a wide variety of video formats.
    Kind Regards,

    Tim Kremer

  • Amazing news!! I like it.

  • This has been a long time coming. Can't wait to see the platform in action!

  • whoa whoa.. Azure rocks!

  • I have been waiting for this from ages.. many kudos to Microsoft team!

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