Walt Disney Company confirms AWS as preferred cloud partner for Disney+ streaming service

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Company lifts the veil on the cloud tech powering the global expansion of its popular Disney+ streaming service

Caroline Donnelly

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Published: 29 Apr 2021 12:15

The Walt Disney Company has confirmed that Amazon Web Services (AWS) powered the global roll-out of its Disney+ streaming service.

Since its launch in November 2019, Disney+ has signed up more than 100 million subscribers to its streaming platform and has steadily expanded the geographical coverage of its service to 59 countries around the world, with Amazon’s help.

“After announcing the intent to launch a dedicated streaming service in August 2017, the Walt Disney Company spent a year laying the foundation for the streaming service,” the two companies said in a joint statement.  

“Leveraging a flexible, secured cloud video infrastructure powered by AWS, Disney+ was able to handle more than 10 million new Disney+ sign-ups within 24 hours of its 12 November 2019 launch.”

To capitalise on the popularity of the service, Disney has committed to expanding its use of Amazon’s cloud services even further to incorporate its machine learning, database, storage, content delivery, serverless and analytics services into its public cloud stack.

The company also cited several examples of how AWS technology is already underpinning the delivery of its streaming services to customers, with the firm name-checking its real-time data analysis tool Amazon Kinesis as enabling it to quickly pick up on trends within its streaming data, while its serverless, time-series database Amazon Timestream enables it to monitor the quality of the video content being streamed to viewers.

“Disney+ has completely reinvented what is possible in content delivery by challenging convention and using cloud technology to build a streaming product from scratch that had never been launched and marketed before on such a global scale,” said Joe Inzerillo, executive vice-president and CTO of the the Walt Disney Company’s direct-to-consumer division.

“AWS has been our preferred cloud provider for years, and its proven global infrastructure and expansive suite of services have contributed meaningfully to the incredible success of Disney+.”

Carla Stratfold, vice-president of global and strategic accounts at AWS, added: “Only AWS’s proven global infrastructure and unparalleled set of capabilities deliver the reliability, scalability and breadth of functionality to power one of the world’s most exciting streaming services and its expansion around the world.

“We look forward to continuing to provide comprehensive cloud capabilities and expertise to the Walt Disney Company to help them reinvent streaming entertainment for Disney fans globally.”

News of the technology tie-up between the two companies coincides with several other announcements about the work AWS is doing to build out its portfolio of sector-specific cloud services for the media and entertainment industry.

AWS already has a number of high-profile reference customers in this market, including streaming giant Netflix, and is offering clients dedicated access to services – and those of its partners – that are tailored to their sector-specific needs through the AWS for Media & Entertainment initiative.

Services offered through AWS for Media & Entertainment will focus on enabling the firm’s customers to digitally transform their content production, media supply chain, archiving, broadcast, streaming and data analytics process, said the company.

The company has also announced the launch of Amazon Nimble Studio, which is geared towards cutting down the time it takes creatives to make content by providing them with the cloud tools to stand up a virtual studio in hours, rather than weeks.

“With Amazon Nimble Studio, customers can rapidly onboard and collaborate with artists from anywhere in the world, and produce content faster and more cost-effectively,” said the company.

“Artists will have access to accelerated virtual workstations, high-speed storage and scalable rendering across AWS’s global infrastructure, so they can create content faster as part of virtual teams.”

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