Everything You Need to Know About Amazon IVS in 2024


Any mention of live streaming is incomplete without Amazon Interactive Video Service (IVS). The world of live streaming changed in 2014. This blog explores what Amazon IVS is and why it’s the complete answer to all your live streaming woes.

Key Challenges of Live Streaming

Nowadays, live streaming has become popular. Whether it is celebrities, influencers or businesses. Anyone who wants an online presence is embracing live streaming. The most recent application of live videos has been in the marketing. Common challenges that live streamers all over the world face are:

      • High latency
      • Low-quality video stream
      • Scaling according to demands
      • Security concerns
      • Complex Management

To resolve these challenges, we have a hero “Amazon Interactive Video Service or IVS”.

What is Amazon IVS?

Amazon IVS is a managed, end-to-end live streaming solution for content creators and video publishers to engage their audiences through live video. This managed solution lets you integrate live video channels into your own independent iOS, Android, and any other web application platform. 

This means that you don’t need to rely on any third-party platforms for streaming live, instead, you can stream live videos through your app or website.

The Journey of Amazon Interactive Video Service

Amazon IVS is backed by AWS infrastructure, which sets it apart from any other live streaming solution. But something else makes this managed live streaming solution not just the best, but a revolutionary live streaming solution. 

Amazon Interactive Video Service or IVS infrastructure has been built on years of knowledge and experience of experts with live streaming. It is actually behind the global live streaming platform Twitch. Twitch was acquired by Amazon in 2014 and with this acquisition, the developers of Twitch informed revolutionary software and code that makes Amazon IVS and Twitch, both, global phenomena. 

Even before its acquisition, Martin Hess, currently the General Manager of Amazon IVS, was a part of Twitch. In an AWS podcast, Martin or “Marty” said that the internet was not designed to support live streams. This is what made the early years of Twitch (launched as Justin.tv in 2007) a treasure trove of opportunities to learn and improve live streaming solutions.

Features of Amazon IVS


Amazon IVS is a fully managed service, which means that AWS takes care of the technical, software-y and, complicated coding protocols. As a user of IVS, you can set up a channel to stream live video content in minutes, without having to touch the technical configurations.

The Amazon Interactive Video Service or IVS backend and frontend are highly optimized to offer the easiest live streaming account set-up, deployment, and monitoring experience to users of all kinds, regardless of their technical expertise. 

It has three main live streaming solutions:

      • Low-Latency Streaming
      • Real-Time Streaming
      • Amazon IVS Chat

The two types of streaming latency options by Amazon Interactive Video Service or IVS differ from each other in the latency times, number of hosts, and a few other parameters that we will discuss further. Amazon Interactive Video Service or IVS Chat is a feature that lets streamers build interactive live chats with custom chat moderation. It can be used without the video capability. 

We will now explore some of the IVS features in detail:

Low Latency

Latency is the delay between an event being captured and it being available to your audience. High latency is one of the biggest challenges faced by live streamers across the world. 

Amazon IVS offers two kinds of streaming options. One of the options, called “low latency streaming” with up to 3 seconds of latency which can, in some cases go up to 5 seconds. The other live streaming option is “real-time streaming”, which gives creators less than 300 milliseconds of latency.


Amazon IVS has different kinds of SDKs or Software Development Kits. These SDKs are built to offer the easiest integration of Amazon Interactive Video Service or IVS functionalities into any application for various platforms.

Amazon Interactive Video Service or IVS SDKs help you create a live streaming channel in a matter of minutes. There are separate SDKs for Android, iOS, and web applications respectively. Software development kits by Amazon IVS help you easily create and manage live streaming channels. They also enable your live streams to be compatible with different operating systems and devices. 

Adaptive Bitrate Streaming

Amazon IVS also offers Adaptive Bitrate Streaming (ABR). This means that based on the viewer’s internet connection and device capabilities, Amazon Interactive Video Service or IVS delivers the highest quality possible that the viewer’s bandwidth can support. This is also called layered encoding or “Simulcast”.

This live or real-time streaming solution handles player detection, bitrate selection, and bitrate switching based on the viewer’s bandwidth. 

Interactive Features

Amazon IVS is an interactive video service because it goes beyond just live or real-time streaming. It lets you include polls, live surveys, leaderboards, and other real-time elements in live streams that your viewers can respond to. This makes them feel like active participants in the stream, instead of being just passive consumers. 

Live Stream Recording

Amazon IVS offers you the convenience of configuring Amazon S3 with your live streams. This means that the videos you stream live can be saved and later used as Video on Demand (VOD). For content creators, this is an exceptionally crucial function. It helps them maximize the value of their live content by repurposing it for later use. 

Collaborative Streaming with Multiple Hosts

This solution allows more than just one person to contribute to the stream by going live. You can invite audience members from a live stream to join you with audio and video which will be broadcast and seen by the rest of the viewers. This streaming solution lets you build a “stage” where either audience members or other hosts can stream in real-time. 

Private Channels

Another feature of IVS is that it lets you create private and exclusive channels. These channels demand valid JWTs (JSON Web Tokens) that let viewers in on the playback authorised stream. This feature allows for building exclusive and selective groups within existing viewers. Private channel authorization can also be used to offer limited-edition content or content for paid viewers only. 

Content Moderation

Live streams are a place for exchanging opinions and engaging with new people. To ensure that live streams are safe spaces for all kinds of viewers, Amazon IVS lets you moderate the stream chat with messaging APIs. You can authorise chat users to moderators or allow assigned moderators to delete offensive content and block abusive users. The Amazon Interactive Video Service or IVS content moderation is flexible too. You can create custom AWS Lambda Functions to moderate stream chats. 

Streaming Protocols

This solution supports RTMP (Real-Time Messaging Protocol) and RTMPS (Real-Time Messaging Protocol Secure) streaming protocols. Streaming protocols are what allow you to send audio and video over the internet, live. Out of the many streaming protocols out there, RTMP and RTMPS are the obvious choices for well-known live streaming platforms like YouTube. RTMP and RTMPS offer low latency, reliable delivery, simple setup and management, and reduced server load. 

Timed Metadata for Interactivity

Metadata is any data that defines or explains other kinds of data. Timed metadata refers to metadata with timestamps. During a live stream, timed metadata can mean the difference between a coherent live stream and a confusing one where interactive features don’t align with what is being shown.

Timed metadata is integrated into live streams using IVS APIs or IVS broadcast SDK. It helps synchronize overlays with information. It embeds relevant information like product links, speaker details, or social media handles alongside specific moments in the stream. 

Analytics and Monitoring

IVS APIs and Amazon CloudWatch can help you monitor and track the metrics of live streams. You can get real-time health monitoring of your stream, wherein you can observe metrics such as view count, ingestion output bitrate, etc. as you stream live. 

The other kind of analytics that Amazon IVS provides is historical data where Amazon CloudWatch processes data from IVS into real-time metrics. This data is saved for up to 15 months. Analytics are crucial in helping creators assess and evaluate their performance and make informed decisions regarding live or real-time streaming strategies. 

Pay-as-you-go Pricing

All Amazon Web Services offer pay-as-you-go pricing models. This means you pay only for the features you use and how much you use them. IVS also gives you pay-as-you-go pricing, making it extremely cost-effective for all kinds of live video channels. 


So What Do You Get?

By now you must be worn out by all the tech talk. We’ve talked about IVS a bunch, but what’s in it for you? Why should you care? The answer is simple. Amazon Interactive Video Service or IVS is the proverbial key to the proverbial lock that can unlock your growth. A bold claim indeed, but we can back it up. 

Of all types of digital content, videos are the most popular and draw people’s attention the quickest. Within video content, live videos are all the rage. Live videos are the best way to engage audiences and build communities. We all want to feel like we are part of something. No better way than live streams to do that. People from anywhere in the world can reach out to each other, share life events, participate in discussions, and develop connections. 

The features of Amazon IVS enable you to build a live streaming channel with the following benefits:

      • Convenience 
      • Scalability 
      • Highest-Quality
      • Engagement 
      • Growth of Businesses
      • Save Time and Resources

Applications of Amazon IVS
The applications of Amazon IVS live streaming solution are multifold. Its robust infrastructure, security, and easy channel management help to leverage live streams for multiple use cases. From e-commerce to lifestyle influencing, IVS’ capability of supporting real-time interactive video-viewing experiences can help the audience. The major benefits of IVS can be categorized into the following:

      • Building communities and engagement
      • Monetizing live experiences and products


Amazon IVS is a bane for digital content creators who want to flawlessly stream their content. It empowers a live video to create more engagement with low latency and high resolutions. Moreover, it is suitable for any business looking for an effective live streaming solution within the pre-decided budget.

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