Media Services pricing

Encode, store, and stream video and audio at scale

Azure Media Services lets you deliver any media, on virtually any device, to anywhere in the world using the cloud. The collection of services provide encoding, live or on-demand streaming, content protection and indexing for video and audio content.

Explore pricing options

Apply filters to customise pricing options to your needs.

Note: Live Video Analytics and Video Indexer have moved out of Azure Media Services to Azure Applied AI Services and been renamed Azure Video Analyzer and Azure Video Analyzer for Media, respectively. To learn more, visit the Azure Video Analyzer product page.

Video & Audio Analytics

Extract in a single job from your audio and video files using AI for video technologies.

Audio analysis is available in two bundles of features at different price points. The standard Audio Analyzer preset provides a richer set of metadata using a predefined set of AI-based audio analysis models, including speech transcription, speaker indexing, speech sentiment analysis and keywords and formatted output captions or subtitles. The Basic Audio Analyzer preset provides a low-cost option to extract only speech transcription and format output captions and subtitles. The Basic Audio Analyzer will produce two separate meters on your bill, including a line for transcription and a separate line for caption and subtitle formatting.

Video Analysis2 Audio Analysis2, 3 Basic Audio Analysis1, 2, 3
Price per input minute $- $- $-

1Rounded by second with a minimum of 15 seconds.

2Pricing for all analysis presets when used directly in the Azure Media Services v3 API is the same.

3When using the standard and basic audio analysis modes in datacentres that do not have a local speech-to-text endpoint, additional in-region networking data transfer rates apply. The following regions currently do not have a local speech endpoint and require in-region data transfer to the nearest endpoint - Australia Southeast, Canada East, France South, Germany West Central, Germany North, India South, India West, Korea South, South Africa North, South Africa West, UAE Central, UAE North, UK West, China East, China North, China North 2, US Gov Texas and US Gov Arizona. The list of regions is subject to change as new speech endpoints are enabled.

Redactor

Anonymise videos by detecting and blurring the faces of selected individuals. Azure Media Redactor is ideal for use in public safety and news media scenarios. Pricing is based on the duration and resolution of the input file. Redactor takes advantage of your media reserved units to run video processing tasks in parallel when possible (Note—SLA for Redactor only applies on S3 media reserve units). See our documentation for more information.

S1 S2 S3
Supported input resolutions1 640 x 480 and below 641 x 481 to 1280 x 720 1281 x 721 to 1920 x 1200
First 50,000 minutes/month2 $-/content minute ($-/hour) $-/content minute ($-/hour) $-/content minute ($-/hour)
Next 9,50,000 minutes (50K-1M minutes)/month $-/content minute ($-/hour) $-/content minute ($-/hour) $-/content minute ($-/hour)
Over 10,00,000 minutes/month $-/content minute ($-/hour) $-/content minute ($-/hour) $-/content minute ($-/hour)

1Both dimensions of the input resolution must fit within the meter’s supported input resolution or a higher resolution will be metered (see FAQ for an example).

2One minute minimum usage. All usage is rounded up to the next minute.

Azure Media Indexer

Azure Media Indexer is being retired on March 1, 2023 and is being replaced with Azure Media Services video and audio analytics (see above in this page).

For migration details, please see documentation.

Video on Demand (VoD) encoding

Standard Encoder transcodes video and audio input files into output formats suitable for playback on a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, PCs, gaming consoles and televisions. See the standard encoder documentation for details on supported input and output formats, codecs and settings.

Standard Encoder1 Premium Encoder2
$- per output minute $- per output minute

1Media Services does not bill for cancelled or errored jobs. For example, a job that has reached 50% progress and is canceled is not billed at 50% of the job minutes. You are only charged for finished jobs.

2The Premium Encoder is only available in the v2 API. The version 2 of the Azure Media Services API and the Premium Encoder feature will be retired on 29th February 2024. Please refer to the migration guide for recommended solutions.

Note: Enterprise Agreement customers should contact their Microsoft account manager for pricing.

H.264

H264 Pricing

Resolution Price
SD $-
HD $-
4K $-

Audio add-on

Audio AAC $-

H.264 Multipliers

SD 1 10 minutes of SD output counts as 10 minutes
HD 2 10 minutes of HD output counts as 20 minutes
4K 4 10 minutes of 4K output counts as 40 minutes
AAC 0.25 4 minutes of audio output counts as 1 minute

Pricing Example: You have a QuickTime video at 1920 x 1080p resolution, 20 minutes in duration, that you encode to an MP4 output of the same length, with the video at 1920 x 1080p resolution and one audio track. The effective multiplier would be 2 (for HD) plus 0.25 (for audio), adding up to a multiplier of 2.25. You would be billed for a total of (20 minutes x 2.25) = 45.00 output minutes. If you used the Media Encoder Standard for this encoding, then your cost would be (45.00 output minutes x $- / output minute) = $-.

See FAQ for more examples.

HEVC

HEVC Pricing

Speed Balanced Quality
<=30 frames/sec >30 frames/sec and <=60 frames/sec >60 frames/sec and <=120 frames/sec <=30 frames/sec >30 frames/sec and <=60 frames/sec >60 frames/sec and <=120 frames/sec <=30 frames/sec >30 frames/sec and <=60 frames/sec >60 frames/sec and <=120 frames/sec
SD $- $- $- $- $- $- $- $- $-
HD $- $- $- $- $- $- $- $- $-
4K $- $- $- $- $- $- $- $- $-
8K $- $- $- $- $- $- $- $- $-

Price per output minute

Audio add-on

Audio AAC $-

Base Standard Definition (SD) encoding meter: $-

HEVC Multipliers

SD 1 10 minutes of SD output counts as 10 minutes
HD 2 10 minutes of HD output counts as 20 minutes
4K 4 10 minutes of 4K output counts as 40 minutes
8K 8 10 minutes of 8K output counts as 80 minutes
&lt;=30 frames/sec 1 10 minutes of <=30 frames/sec output counts as 10 minutes
>30 frames/sec and &lt;=60 frames/sec 1.25 10 minutes of > 30 and <=60 frames/sec output counts as 12.5 minutes
>60 frames/sec and &lt;=120 frames/sec 1.5 10 minutes of >60 and <=120 frames/sec output counts as 15 minutes
Speed 0.5 10 minutes speed profile output counts as 5 minutes
Balanced 1 10 minutes balanced profile output counts as 10 minutes
Quality 2 10 minutes quality profile output counts as 20 minutes
HEVC Codec 4/1.5 (2.67) 10 minutes HEVC codec output counts as 26.7 minutes
Audio AAC 0.25 4 minutes of audio output counts as 1 minute

Pricing examples

Q: How do I calculate the total costs based on the encoder multipliers?
A: To calculate the price per minute you need to take all the multiplier values of the encoding preset and the regional base price (resolution * frames/sec * preset * HEVC codec * regional base price * minutes). As an Example, I want to encode 10 minutes of video using HEVC codec with a resolution of HD at 30 frames per second (frames/sec) using the speed optimised preset: HD=2, 30 frames/sec =1, speed=0.5, HEVC=2.67, minutes=10 and a base price=$-. The formula is: 2*1*0.5*2.67*10*$-=$- for 10 minutes HEVC encoding.

Q: When I use multiple outputs how do I calculate all the applied multipliers?
A: You need to calculate the multiplier value per output based on the example above. Finally, you add all multipliers and multiply by the base price per minute in the region where you plan to run the job.

See FAQ for more examples.

Resolution thresholds3

SD is an output less than 720 resolution.

HD is an output greater than or equal to 720, less than or equal to 1080 resolution.

4K is an output greater than 1080, less than or equal to 2304 resolution.

8K is an output greater than 2304, up to and including 4608 resolution.

3Resolutions thresholds are based on the product of the width*height. We do not currently distinguish between landscape and portrait orientation.

Additional charges

Storage and data transfer rates may also apply, and will be charged at standard Azure rates.

Media reserved units

Media reserved units are recommended if your workload requires more than one task to run concurrently. You can increase the overall throughput from the service by (a) increasing number of media reserved units to get more tasks processed concurrently and (b) by using a faster media reserved unit (for example, S3). See the documentation for more information. If you expect to use more than 10 media reserved units, contact us.

S1 S2 S3
Each unit $- per hour1 $- per hour1 $- per hour1
Concurrent processes 1 per unit 1 per unit 1 per unit
Relative performance2 About 2x S1 About 4x S1

1Billing is prorated on a per-minute basis.

2Performance speed up estimated using Media Encoder Standard.

Live Events

Live Events (also known as Channels in legacy APIs) enable you to stream content to your audience in near real time. Live events are used in conjunction with streaming endpoints (origin) to provide live streaming service. For details on streaming pricing please refer to the streaming section of this page. Your options for Live Events are the following.

Live Encoding Type Pass-through (None) Standard Live Encoding Premium Live Encoding
Maximum resolution of output stream Up to 4K at 60 frames/sec Up to 720p at 30 frames/sec Up to 1080p at 30 frames/sec
Multi-bitrate encoding Not Available Yes Yes
Running state price $-/minute ($-/hour) $-/minute ($-/hour) $-/minute ($-/hour)
Standby state price $-/minute ($-/hour) $-/minute ($-/hour) $-/minute ($-/hour)

For all Live Event types, billing is based on the amount of time it is in running or standby state, whether there is video being streamed through the service. For details on Live Event states and billing, please refer to the FAQ below.

Storage and data transfer rates may also apply and will be charged at standard Azure rates.

Live TranscriptionPreview

Live Transcription is designed to work in conjunction with live streaming workloads, as an add-on capability when using Pass-through Live Events or Standard/Premium Live Encoder Live Events. Billing is based on the amount of time the Live Event is in running state, whether or not there is video being streamed through the service. For details on Live Transcription and billing, please refer to the FAQ below. This preview feature is only available in specific regions. See documentation for details.

Instance Price
Live Transcription $-/minute ($-/hour)

Streaming

Deliver on-demand and live video streams to customers in multiple formats and at scale. Standard and Premium streaming services deliver content directly to a media player application or to a Content Delivery Network for further distribution.

Media Services customers choose either a standard endpoint or one or more premium streaming units, per their needs. Standard streaming endpoint is suitable for most streaming workloads. It includes the same features as premium streaming units and scales outbound bandwidth automatically. Premium streaming units are suitable for advanced workloads, providing dedicated, scalable bandwidth capacity. Premium streaming units “stack,” meaning each unit enabled provides additional bandwidth capacity to the application. Standard streaming endpoint does not stack, instead it scales bandwidth automatically based on bandwidth requirements. See more information.

Streaming is billed as the combination of streaming services and the quantity of data transferred. When Azure Content Delivery Network is enabled via Media Services portal or API for a streaming endpoint, standard Content Delivery Network pricing applies for all data transferred. When Azure Content Delivery Network is not enabled for a streaming endpoint, data transfer is charged at data transfer pricing.

Streaming units

Standard Streaming Endpoint Premium Streaming Units
Price (preview) 2 $-/day ($-/mo 1) N/A
Price (per unit) N/A $-/day ($-/mo 1)
Bandwidth Up to 600 Mbps from streaming endpoint and scales with Content Delivery Network Up to 200 Mbps/unit

1Billing is prorated hourly. 31-day billing month is used for the rate calculation.

2Preview pricing subject to change upon general availability.

Content protection

Secure your assets with PlayReady digital rights management (DRM), Widevine Modular license delivery, Apple FairPlay Streaming or clear key Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption. Pricing is based on the number of licenses or keys issued by the service.

PlayReady

PlayReady
Price $-/100 licenses

Widevine

Widevine
Price $-/100 licenses

Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) Keys

AES Keys
Price $-/100 keys

Storage and data transfer rates may also apply, and will be charged at standard Azure rates.

FairPlay

FairPlay
Price $-/100 licenses

Azure pricing and purchasing options

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Additional resources

Media Services details

Learn more about Media Services features and capabilities.

Pricing calculator

Estimate your expected monthly costs for using any combination of Azure products.

SLA

Review the Service Level Agreement for this product.

Documentation

Review technical tutorials, videos and more Media Services resources.

Frequently asked questions

  • Adding media reserved units to your account ensures that multiple files are processed concurrently and changing the type of the media reserved unit affects the speed at which the files are processed. For example, if your account had three media reserved units of type S1, then up to three files will be processed concurrently. By changing the type of reserved unit to S3, each individual file processes faster. See our documentation for more information.

  • Yes, you can scale the number of media reserved units in your account. While there are default limits in the Azure Portal, for example a maximum of 25 S2 media reserved units, these are soft limits. You can contact us if you need higher limits.

  • No, you will only get charged based on output minutes, plus the number of media reserved units. See the example below for more details.

  • No, you will not be charged if an encoding job fails.
  • Yes, you will be charged for encoding output minutes (standard encoder: $- per output minute, premium encoder: $- per output minute) separately from the media reserved unit charge. See the example below for more details.

  • Example 1—Joe has 30 encoding jobs for which he uses Media Encoder Standard (i.e. the standard encoder rate applies). Each job creates 10 output minutes (totaling 300 output minutes). Joe uses one S1 media reserved unit (RU), and each job takes two hours to run. Joe uses that S1 RU for a total of 60 consecutive hours and then turns off the RU (sets number of RU to zero).

    • Output minutes (standard encoder): 300 x $-/minute = $-
    • S1 media reserved unit: 1 unit x 60 hours x $-/hour = $-
    • Total Cost: $-

    Example 2—Joe has 30 encoding jobs for which he uses Media Encoder Standard. Each job creates 10 output minutes (totaling 300 output minutes). This time, Joe uses three S2 media reserved units (RU). Each job will take only one hour to complete and his 30 jobs complete in just 10 hours. Joe uses that S2 RU for a total of 10 consecutive hours and then turns off the RU (sets number of RU to zero).

    • Output minutes (standard encoder): 300 x $-/minute = $-
    • S2 media reserved unit: 3 units x 10 hours x $-/hour = $-
    • Total Cost: $-

    Example 3—Joe has a two-hour movie which is at 1920 x 1080 resolution, which he encodes with Media Encoder Standard using the default “H264 Multiple Bitrate 1080p” preset, so that he can stream the movie to iOS and Android devices. The encoding preset produces 3 HD output videos, 5 SD output videos and 1 audio. The total multiplier for this encoding task would be (3x2 + 5 + 0.25) = 11.25. Total output minutes would therefore be 11.25 x 2 x 60 = 1,350. The total cost would be 1,350 x $-/minute = $-.

  • If you generate thumbnails as part of a regular encoding job, as in the sample here, then there is no additional charge for generating thumbnail images. If, however, you submit an encoding task which generates only thumbnails (i.e. output has no video or audio), then each image in the output asset is counted as one second (1/60 of a minute).

  • You are charged based on actual minutes of usage of media reserved units. Here is a more detailed example. Suppose Joe had zero media reserved units (RU) to begin with and at 10:00 a.m. on that day, set his account to use two S1 RUs. More videos arrive in the afternoon, so Joe changes his account to use four S3 RUs at 1:15 p.m. All his videos are processed by 4:00 p.m. and then Joe turns off the RUs in his account (sets number of RUs to zero). Joe’s usage is calculated as follows.

    • S1 media reserved units: 2 units x 3.25 hours (10 AM to 1:15 PM) x $-/hour = $-
    • S3 media reserved units: 4 units x 2.75 hours (1:15 PM to 4 PM) x $-/hour = $-

    So, Joe’s total cost for using media reserved units on that day would be $- + $- = $-

    Unlike media reserved units, the streaming units are charged based on the highest number of streaming units that are provisioned each day (high watermark).

  • No, the charges for media reserved units are prorated on a per-minute basis. The charges for streaming units are prorated on a per-hour basis. If there is any usage within the hour, the streaming unit will be billed for the entire hour. To understand how much an encoding or streaming project will cost, please check out our online calculator.

  • A streaming unit provides a dedicated set of resources for content streaming, with each unit increasing guaranteed bandwidth throughput by up to 200 Mbps.

  • Yes, you can purchase multiple streaming units for content streaming.

  • You are charged based on the highest number of streaming units that are provisioned each hour. In this example, if you made the change at 3:30 PM, you will be charged for two units until 3pm on that day, and for four units starting at 3 PM.

  • It depends on the current state of a Live Event. Possible values include:

    • Stopped. This is the initial state of the Live Event after its creation. In this state, the Live Event properties can be updated but streaming is not allowed.
    • Starting. The Live Event is being started. No updates or streaming are allowed during this state. If an error occurs, the Live Event returns to the "Stopped" state.
    • Running. The Live Event is capable of processing live streams.
    • Stopping. The Live Event is being stopped. No updates or streaming are allowed during this state.
    • Deleting. The Live Event is being deleted. No updates or streaming are allowed during this state.
    • Allocating. The allocate action was called on the Live Event and resources are being provisioned for this Live Event. Once this operation is done successfully, the live event will transition to StandBy state.
    • StandBy. The live event resources have been provisioned and is ready to start. Billing occurs in this state. Most properties can still be updated, however ingest or streaming is not allowed during this state.

    The following table shows how the states map to the billing mode.

    Live Event state Billed?
    Starting No (transient state)
    Running Yes
    Stopping No (transient state)
    Stopped No
    Allocating No (transient state)
    StandBy Yes
  • Scenario: Stella wants to stream a 2-hour sporting event and intends to use a Live Event with Standard Live Encoding

    1. Stella sets up the Live Event and starts it 20 minutes before the event begins. The Live Event is in the “Starting” state for 5 minutes.
      • Stella is not billed during this time
    2. After starting, the Live Event moves into the “Running” state ready to receive a stream. The Live Event remains in the "Running” state for 15 minutes.
      • Stella does get billed for this period
    3. The event begins streaming on-time and lasts 2 hours or 120 minutes.
      • Stella gets billed for this period
    4. Stella stops the video feed but does not stop the Live Event, Stella leaves the Live Event in this mode for 5 minutes.
      • Stella does get billed for this period
    5. Stella then streams a post-game show for 30 minutes.
      • Stella gets billed for this period
    6. After the post-game show, Stella immediately stops the Live Event and deletes it.
      • Stella is not billed during this time

    In total the Live Event was in the “Running” state for 170 minutes (15 minutes with no stream before the event + 120 minute event + 5 minutes with no stream after event + 30 minute post-game show). The charges are:

    170 Minutes x ~$- = ~$-

  • Both edges of the input video must fit within the supported input resolution of each meter. For example, a 600 x 481 video exceeds the maximum 640 x 480 resolution of S1 by virtue of both edges being greater than 480 and so would be subject to S2 metering.

  • No, you can use Standard Live Encoding in this case. It is the product of height and width that needs to be at or below 1280*720. You will only be billed at Standard Live Encoding rates.
  • You will be charged based on the type of your Live Event. In this case, you would choose Standard Live Encoding and get billed at the Standard Live Encoding rates, even if the output video is not 1280x720.

    Note that if you choose to configure the Live Event to use Premium Live Encoding, you will be billed at this rate.

  • You get billed for Live Transcription when you enable this feature while using a Live Event to stream, for example, a webinar. Your account gets billed for the duration where the Live Event is in a Running state. Possible values for the state of a Live Event include:

    • Stopped. This is the initial state of the Live Event after its creation. In this state, the Live Event properties can be updated but streaming is not allowed.
    • Starting. The Live Event is being started. No updates or streaming are allowed during this state. If an error occurs, the Live Event returns to the "Stopped" state.
    • Running. The Live Event is capable of processing live streams.
    • Stopping. The Live Event is being stopped. No updates or streaming are allowed during this state.
    • Deleting. The Live Event is being deleted. No updates or streaming are allowed during this state.

    The following table shows how the states map to the billing mode.

    Live Event state Billed?
    Starting No (transient state)
    Running Yes
    Stopping No (transient state)
    Stopped No
  • Scenario: Stella wants to stream a 2-hour webinar and intends to use a Live Event with Standard Live Encoding, with Live Transcription enabled.

    1. Stella sets up the Live Event and starts it 20 minutes before the event begins. The Live Event is in the “Starting” state for 5 minutes.
      • Stella is not billed during this time
    2. After starting, the Live Event moves into the “Running” state ready to receive a stream. The Live Event remains in the "Running” state for 15 minutes.
      • Stella does get billed for this period, for both Standard Live Encoding and Live Transcription. She will get billed regardless of whether or not the audio feed has any spoken words in this period.
    3. The event begins streaming on-time and lasts 2 hours or 120 minutes.
      • Stella gets billed for this period, for both Standard Live Encoding and Live Transcription
    4. Stella stops the video feed but does not stop the Live Event, Stella leaves the Live Event in this mode for 5 minutes.
      • Stella does get billed for this period, for both Standard Live Encoding and Live Transcription
    5. Stella then streams a question-and-answer (QandA) session for 30 minutes.
      • Stella gets billed for this period, for both Standard Live Encoding and Live Transcription
    6. After the QandA session, Stella immediately stops the Live Event and deletes it.
      • Stella is not billed during this time

    In total the Live Event was in the “Running” state for 170 minutes (15 minutes with no stream before the event + 120 minute event + 5 minutes with no stream after event + 30 minute QandA). The charges are: 170 Minutes x ~$- = ~$- (170 Minutes x (Standard Live Encoding Rate + Live Transcription Rate)

  • As an example, when you analyse audio using the Basic Audio Analysis and upload one hour of content the bundled price (Media Transcription + Caption and Subtitle) per hour = $-. You will be billed for $- in total, but it will be reported as two different names, $- for Media Transcription + $- for Captions and Subtitles).

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