21st Century Fox commits to Amazon’s cloud for video platforms and workloads

Amazon sign on storefront
21st Century Fox is betting on Amazon. (Eric Broder Van Dyke/Shutterstock)

21st Century Fox announced it will use Amazon for the “vast majority” of its cloud operations. “21st Century Fox will use AWS as the primary platform to deliver over 90,000 titles on demand for key brands such as Fox, FX, National Geographic, 20th Century Fox Television, 20th Century Fox Film and Fox Sports,” the companies announced.

The transaction is significant for both companies, as it signals Fox’s increasing embrace of cloud architecture to speed the delivery of its videos and to manage its infrastructure. Indeed, Fox said it has already moved over 30 million assets—roughly 10 petabytes of content—to the Amazon Glacier and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) of Amazon Web Services, and that as part of the companies’ new deal, Fox will use AWS’ machine learning and data analytics services “to create a consistent set of digital media capabilities across its brands.”

The transaction is equally important for Amazon as the company works to strengthen its position in the media market. Indeed, Amazon said its deal with 21st Century Fox is one of several new agreements it signed in the media and content industry today. The company also announced that Major League Baseball will use AWS as its provider for machine learning, artificial intelligence, and deep learning workloads. And Epic Games—the company behind the popular Fortnite title—is “going all-in on the world’s leading cloud” and will use AWS to “build new games and enhance the in-game experiences for its more than a hundred million online players around the globe.”

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Amazon, of course, is the world’s leading cloud technology vendor, but the timing of the companies’ announcements is important considering new research from Goldman Sachs shows that Microsoft’s Azure is gaining ground on Amazon in the cloud market among large companies. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, 56% of CIOs surveyed by the Wall Street research firm said they currently use Amazon’s cloud, but when asked what cloud they will use three years from now, Amazon and Microsoft tied at 49%.

Regardless of the provider, cloud technology continues to advance into the media and content industries. “We are experiencing the benefits of our long-term relationship with AWS, which started many years ago when we began to modernize the infrastructure and platforms that power our businesses throughout the world,” Fox CIO John Herbert said in a statement. “Having completed this phase, our strategic relationship is now enabling completely new and creative ways of producing our award-winning content and reaching audiences with new and innovative products.”

Specifically, 21st Century Fox said it has launched a companywide approach to data collection, processing, and instrumentation using Amazon’s cloud technologies. In doing so, the media company explained that it can use Amazon’s technologies and services to unify its assets and collect, process, and analyze in real time the streaming data it generates “to gain deeper insights from the volume and variety of data ingested.”

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