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AWS taps Twitch technology to launch Amazon Interactive Video Service

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched Amazon Interactive Video Service (Amazon IVS), which the company describes as a fully managed service designed to enable video providers to set up live, interactive video streams for a web or mobile application in a few minutes.

Amazon IVS uses the same technology that powers esports service Twitch, with the claim that it can deliver latency of less than three seconds, much lower than the 20-30 second latencies common with other online streaming video services.

AWS says that customers can configure and stream live video through their own website or mobile application, with scalable delivery that supports millions of concurrent viewers globally.

With the Amazon IVS SDK and APIs, customers can also build interactive features into their live streams like virtual chat spaces, votes and polls, moderated question and answer sessions, and synchronized promotional elements, according to the company.

AWS says there are no additional charges or upfront commitments required to use Amazon IVS, and customers pay only for video input to Amazon IVS and video output delivered to viewers.

AWS says its offering will liberate video providers from the need to set up the infrastructure for live video with video workflows for content ingestion, processing, and distribution, and the need to configure transcoders for adaptive-bitrate-formatted streaming to support multiple types of devices, select the appropriate streaming protocols, set up the content delivery networks and integrate video players.

Customers can send their live video to Amazon IVS using standard streaming software like Open Broadcaster Software (OBS). Amazon IVS ingests the video, then automatically transcodes and optimizes it, making it available for live delivery across AWS-managed global infrastructure using the same video transfer technology Twitch uses for its live streaming service.

Content creators and developers can use the Amazon IVS player SDK to give audiences a low-latency live streaming experience and can combine the Amazon IVS SDK and APIs to attach structured text data to video streams, and create interactive content, including polls, surveys, and leaderboards, all of which are automatically synchronized to the live video, according to AWS.

Amazon IVS is currently being used by services including Amazon Live, where shoppers can discover livestream content and browse recorded livestreams, educational service Blackboard, entertainment fan engagement service 17Live, Japanese streaming service DeNA’s Pococha and digital signage specialist ScreenCloud.

“Customers have been asking to use Twitch’s video streaming technology on their own platforms for a range of use cases like education, retail, sports, fitness, and more,” said Martin Hess, GM, Amazon IVS.

“Now with Amazon IVS, customers can leverage the same innovative technology that has taken Twitch over a decade to build and refine. Any developer can build an interactive live streaming experience into their own application without having to manage the underlying video infrastructure.”