April 7, 2020

Verizon Media Streaming on Azure is available now

By: Darren Lepke, Head of Video Product Management, Verizon Media

Microsoft Azure and Verizon Media have had a successful relationship since 2013. This partnership was built on our world-class CDN, Verizon Media Delivery. The Azure CDN from Verizon has established itself as a leader in delivering high-quality OTT streams to all connected devices, reliable software and gaming downloads, and a speedy, secure connection to websites.

To meet the evolving requirements of Azure customers, we have optimized and expanded the features of our CDN available to Azure. Today, the premium Azure CDN from Verizon is the most fully-featured CDN product in the Azure family. To take full advantage of Microsoft’s scale and innovation, we have now completed the porting of our streaming product to Azure. 

After months of collaborative work between our two companies, we have launched the general availability of our Streaming product on Azure. This partnership brings the best of our streaming product, with its advanced features and capabilities, and enhances it with Azure’s global footprint and technologies to unlock the full potential of OTT, including:

  • Streamlined workflow: We simplify every part of OTT, from encoding to content protection to delivery, enabling brands to provide consistent, high-quality streams to users, anywhere in the world.
  • Ultra-personalization: Our Smartplay technology generates unique manifests for every viewer that presses “play,” making millions of concurrent decisions to deliver the most personalized experiences. And with augmented metadata captured by the Azure Video Indexer, we can deliver completely new, highly-relevant content. 
  • Better ad experiences: Our content, programming, and advertising experiences drive stronger engagement and higher CPMs. Personalized ads are processed in advance and inserted server-side to ensure a seamless TV-like experience from content to ads. Continuous improvement of technology provides more data so customers can fine-tune their business and maximize monetization.
  • Reach and reliability: Azure is one of the largest cloud platforms in the world. It optimizes the end-user experience by delivering content from the nearest edge using fast, efficient global networks. Azure CDN from Verizon is proven to outperform the open internet for TV-like viewing experiences.

With this partnership, content owners gain access to a premium suite of features that utilize Azure technologies. Azure Blob Storage brings cost-effective, fast storage for video files, which can, in turn, be pushed to Azure’s advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning products. Azure Video Indexer unlocks video intelligence by automatically extracting metadata – such as spoken words, written text, faces, speakers, celebrities, emotions, topics, brands, and scenes – from video and audio files. This combination of innovations heralds a new era of hyper-personalized content recommendations and relevant advertising that increases engagement and loyalty while maximizing monetization opportunities. Our partnership brings greater simplicity to existing workflows, improves the quality of video services, lowers latency, and enables our customers to maximize the value of advertising and video content, so they can quickly and efficiently build and maintain audiences.

Microsoft Azure is empowering media and entertainment organizations worldwide to achieve more by unlocking the potential of three main content areas. 

  1. Production
  2. Distribution
  3. Monetization through engagement

Azure is gaining recognition as a digital transformation powerhouse and recently added Walt Disney Studios to its list of prestigious customers. Verizon Media’s Streaming on Azure and Azure CDN from Verizon fit squarely in the distribution and monetization tracks, respectively. The focus for 2020 will be helping our many mutual customers take advantage of all the business opportunities of OTT streaming and media delivery.

Our expanded partnership with Microsoft also enables our product team to accelerate the delivery of features and capabilities on our platform. Our roadmap for customers of Verizon Media Streaming on Azure includes exclusive advanced features, such as ultra-low latency streaming, which is in high demand for live events broadcasts. And OTT monitoring for managing the QoS/QoE (Quality of Service and Quality of Experience) of all video streams on our platform. 

To learn more about the benefits of Verizon Media Streaming on Azure, please click here.

OTT Innovation Showcase, Thursday, May 7, 9:00 a.m. PDT

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