Microsoft has announced that it will close down its Azure Media Services (AMS) completely on June 30, 2024. We understand that their consumers will find this news disappointing and the short notice will present unprecedented challenges.
Team GUDSHO is here to help this transition!
Microsoft has a shocking piece of news for video-based businesses in 2023,when it announced the official retirement of its Azure Media Services. As a result, creators, developers and businesses will no longer be able to access the media services that they have already purchased.
As Microsoft is preparing to sunset a part of its services, there is a way that you can transfer your digital content and continue streaming to your users without any hassle.
In this article, I’ll cover:
- Azure Media Services & Its shutdown details
- Reasons for the shutdown
- AMS services that will become inoperative
- You next step after AMS shutdown
So, shall we begin?
What Is Azure Media Service (AMS)?
Azure Media Services is a cloud-based platform designed by Microsoft that lets you send media to any device worldwide through the cloud. It makes your content processing, storage, and delivery smooth and easy with powerful tools, services, and API.
Plus, It supports various video formats, so that you can deliver your content on any device without format or size limitations. AMS makes sure that your viewers enjoy customized live streaming experiences with AI-powered content analysis. And an added advantage is that it seamlessly integrates with other Azure services.
In addition to its core media services, Azure Media Services provides supplementary features such as unlocking insights, telemetry, and full programmability, enhancing the overall utility of the platform.
Azure Media Service (AMS) Shutdown Date
Launched in 2012, Azure Media Services will officially retire on 30th June, 2023 as per the official retirement notice. After the shut down, Azure’s media services will no longer be supported.
The notice was released by Microsoft by July 2023 to ensure that current AMS users can look for alternatives at the earliest. They can either switch to Azure Video Indexer or a reliable video platform to keep their video and audio services operational.
Why Is Microsoft Shutting Down Azure Media Service?
There are so many questions on why Azure Media Services is retiring. The speculations started right from the first half of 2022. There were several internal restructuring happening around the time hinting us a clue that something big was coming. In fact, you will still be able to find broken links and images on the official Azure Media Service pages.
They are still unattended.
But there are 3 major reasons that experts quote as the reason for the exit.
1. Low ROI (Return on Investment)
Microsoft was not yielding the expected revenue when compared to the huge investment it was making for the service. Fair reason!
2. Ineffective Marketing Strategies
Microsoft has failed to implement promotional and sales activities that were needed for this huge service. It wasn’t able to reach the target user base, due to a lack of clear strategies to firmly establish the service.
3. Third-party Services
While competitors like Amazon Media Services take care of the encoding, packaging and delivery in-house, Microsoft went for outsourcing and partnerships with third parties like Verizon (EdgeCast CDN, now Edgio) and Akamai that eventually drifted apart the service trajectory.
However, Microsoft claims that the Media services are not their core component. Rather it aims to focus on the strategic areas of growth. Also, with the active operations of several media services in the industry, it is said that the closure of AMS will less likely impact the streaming media industry.
Which Media Services Will Stop Working When AMS Retires?
When it’s time to say goodbye to AMS, it might potentially affect the several services that are running on your video platform. I’m listing down the critical services that will turn inoperative and the solutions to face this crisis.
Encoding is an AMS service that lets you convert your videos from one standard format to multiple other formats. You can also reduce the size of the files and make your videos compatible to play on any device.
- Studio-grade encoding
- Secure and scalable batch processing
|❌ If AMS Encoding Is Unavailable||✅ What Should You Do Next?|
|Without encoding, you will not be able to convert your videos to compatible formats or compress them. This might affect your videos from playing on certain devices.||You’ll need to find other encoding services or tools outside of Azure to make sure your videos are available in the formats and sizes needed for your business.|
⏩ Dynamic Packaging
This AMS service helps you deliver video playbacks using the widely supported streaming protocols like HLS, MPEG-DASH, and Smooth Streaming based on the encoded mezzanine video file.
- Adaptive bitrate streaming
- Just-in-time encoding
- Streaming locator creation
- URL building for streaming
|❌ If AMS Dynamic Packaging Is Unavailable||✅ What Should You Do Next?|
|Your videos will not be delivered with adaptive bitrate streaming. This highly impacts the quality of the playback and viewer experience.||You’ll need to consider static packaging options. Also look for streaming solutions that are compatible with different protocols.|
⏩ Video Analyzer For Media
AMS uses AI models to extract visual insights from your videos.
- Automatic transcription
- Emotion recognition
- Optical character recognition
- Sentiment analysis
- Automatic speech recognition
- Keyword extraction
- Face detection
- Brand and label detection
|❌ If AMS Video Analyzer Is Unavailable||✅ What Should You Do Next?|
|You might not be able to access the visual insights and AI-driven features.||Consider a video analysis tool or service that provides similar AI-driven features.|
⏩ AES Keys and DRM Licenses:
This content protection service dynamically encrypts your videos and ensures that your viewers enjoy a secure video experience.
- Digital Right Management
|❌ If Video Encryptions Are Unavailable||✅ What Should You Do Next?|
|This is a serious threat. It could potentially compromise your video security.||You need to either manually encrypt your videos or look for services that come with built-in encryption and content moderation features.|
⏩ Token Authentication:
This authentication mechanism ensures that only authorized users or systems with valid tokens can securely access backend resources.
- Common encryption algorithm
- AES encryption algorithm
|❌ If Token Authentication Is Unavailable||✅ What Should You Do Next?|
|If your token authentication mechanism is disturbed, it may lead to unauthorized access. Your platform becomes vulnerable to third-party attacks and threats.||You cannot compromise on token authentication. You need to either implement a separate authentication mechanism or look for a secure service offering it.|
This is going to be huge! The closure of each service might affect businesses, developers and creators in several ways.
But, there is always a way out!
What Must Existing AMS Subscribers Do Next?
The transition must somehow be overwhelming to you if you are using AMS for your platform. But we are here to help. Here is a checklist you can use before switching to a new media service.
- Migration to Alternative Platforms:
You need to choose alternative Azure media service platforms that promise a long-term and reliable service.
- Data Backup and Retrieval:
Make sure you backup all the essential data, including media content, configurations, and any other critical information stored within Azure Media Services.
- License and Access Management:
Do not forget to review the access permissions of your content protection licenses. So that you’ll continue accessing the resources without any loss of data.
- Communication with Stakeholders:
Let your internal teams, clients, and end-users know about the shutdown. Give them clear information on the transition plan and timelines.
- Adjustment of Workflows and Integrations:
Modify all the workflows or integrations that directly depend on Azure Media Services. This will help you migrate your platform without hassles.
- Testing and Validation:
Conduct thorough testing of the new media services platform to validate its compatibility with existing workflows, content formats, and delivery mechanisms.
- Financial Considerations:
Review and adjust budget allocations. Consider the potential cost that might occur when you migrate from Azure Media Services.
- Training Resources:
Keep your users equipped and well-trained with the new service.
- Contractual Obligations:
If your platform is subject to contractual agreements and obligations with Azure Media Services, you need to notify the relevant parties.
- Final Decommissioning of Azure Media Services:
Coordinate the final decommissioning of Azure Media Services according to Microsoft’s guidelines and timelines. Ensure that all resources on your Azure account are appropriately closed or migrated.
Now that you know how to move from Azure, We still sense questions like ‘Where to go? Which is the best Azure Media Service Alternative’. We agree that there are 100 video platforms you can consider. But as a customer who already has used a service from a tech giant, only a premium platform could provide better than what AMS has offered.
Why Is GUDSHO a Good Azure Media Service Alternative?
Simply put, GUDSHO is a premium video platform that covers a 360-degree video service. It includes all the services you’ve already experienced with AMS and the ones above them.
So, here is a quick list of the top services offered by our video monetization platform.
- HD Video Delivery
- Video hosting & Storage
- Set up your channel within a few minutes
- Advanced Content Management Systems
- Live Video Streaming
- 5+ Monetization Strategies
- 3-layer Security
No, we just don’t stop here. We’ve got 100+ services that might surprise you. Check out our list of service offerings and I’m confident that you’ll not turn back!
How GUDSHO Can Help?
We have exclusively set up a team of experts to ensure that all your queries about the migration are answered. Because, as a video platform, we understand the hardships of a transition and we’re here to help.
Team GUDSHO will make sure the migration from Azure Media Services is smooth and that it will not affect the performance of your video services or user experience.
Yes, even if a tech giant shuts down its service, we’ve got it all covered for you!
Yes. GUDSHO supports all your video assets that you migrate from Azure Media Services. You need not worry about the video codecs and limitations.
Microsoft is retiring its Media Services of Azure Cloud for 3 reasons:
1. Less ROI
2. Ineffective marketing and promotion
3. Dependency on third-party partnership
The existing AMS customers are expected to switch to a reliable video platform to ensure that their video services are operational to their users, before Microsoft shuts down AMS.
If the existing AMS customers do not migrate to a different video service platform,
1. The video files will not be affected. The users can access the files in their account.
2. Users’ meta data will be deleted after the shut down date.
Not at all! GudSho has a team of experts who’ll ensure that your migration is smooth and easy. In fact, the transition can be done in simple steps.You’ll just need to
1. Create your GUDSHO account
2. Import your AMS assets
3. Go live with GUDSHO
You’ll experience an enhanced service than AMS at GUDSHO. But, here are the top advantages among them:
1. 𝟏𝟎𝟎+ 𝐅𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐬: You get access to all the features you’ve enjoyed in AMS and a versatile number of features better than them at GUDSHO.
2. 𝐅𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐭 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐛𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲: When switching to GudSho, your videos are supported in any format and are accessible on any device.
3. 𝐏𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐛𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲: Your videos can be accessed on any view – mobile or browser, and on any platforms – Android, iOS and web.
4. 𝐔𝐥𝐭𝐫𝐚-𝐥𝐨𝐰 𝐋𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐲: be it any size of video, GUDSHO helps you deliver your videos without staggers or delays.
No. You need not re-encode the video files when migrating to GUDSHO from AMS. This eliminates your wait time to switch to GUDSHO platform.
Yes. Azure’s media services will be accessible until June 30, 2024. After this date, the service will not be available.
You simply need to follow the below steps to switch to GUDSHO.
1. Create your GUDSHO account
2. Import your AMS assets
3. Go live with GUDSHO.