Hulu selects AWS as its cloud provider

Leading premium streaming service successfully launched “Hulu with Live TV” leveraging AWS

SEATTLE, 2017-Aug-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (Aug. 14, 2017), Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), announced that Hulu has selected AWS as its cloud provider, and leveraged AWS to launch its new, over-the-top (OTT) live TV service. Huluturned to AWS for a scalable, agile, and cost effective infrastructure to support the addition of more than 50 live channels for the Hulu with Live TV launch in May 2017. Running its live TV service on AWS’s reliable and secure infrastructure allows Hulu to deliver a great viewer experience, even in times of rapid spikes in viewership and traffic. AWS’s comprehensive cloud offering allows Hulu to focus on innovating OTT delivery for its highly personalized viewer experience instead of managing infrastructure.

“Hulu is redefining the television experience for viewers and we have set the technical bar much higher by bringing live TV into the mix,” said Rafael Soltanovich, Vice President, Software development at Hulu. “We selected AWS as our cloud provider because of its leading breadth and depth of capabilities. The elasticity, agility, and security they provide were key to deploying our new service. Putting our stream ingest, repackaging, DVR storage, and origin serving on AWS freed us from having to build out data centers and led to a faster time to market with higher availability.”

“Leaders in media and entertainment like Hulu are looking for more efficient ways to build scalable streaming and OTT solutions,” said Mike Clayville, Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Sales at AWS. “AWS’s unmatched scalability and reliability allow Hulu to continue to innovate and break new ground – like delivering live TV alongside their extensive on-demand programming – without having to spend millions of dollars and thousands of person hours building and managing data centers.”

Hulu joins a growing list of media companies and broadcasters running their media supply chains and OTT delivery pipelines on AWS, including Amazon Video, AOL, BBC, Channel 4, C-SPAN, Daily Voice, Discovery Communications, Flipboard, GoPro, Guardian News & Media, Hearst Corporation, LIONSGATE, NDTV, Netflix, News International, News UK, Newsweek, PBS, Simfy Africa, Sony DADC, SoundCloud, Spotify, Time Inc., and United Daily News.

About Amazon Web Services

For 11 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform. AWS offers over 90 fully featured services for compute, storage, networking, database, analytics, application services, deployment, management, developer, mobile, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), security, hybrid, and enterprise applications, from 44 Availability Zones (AZs) across 16 geographic regions in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and the UK. AWS services are trusted by millions of active customers around the world – including the fastest growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies – to power their infrastructure, make them more agile, and lower costs. To learn more about AWS, visit https://aws.amazon.com.

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit www.amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.

About Hulu

Hulu is a leading premium streaming service that offers instant access to live and on demand channels, original series and films, and a premium library TV and movies to millions of subscribers in the U.S. Since its launch in 2008, Hulu has consistently been at the forefront of entertainment and technology. Hulu is the only streaming service that offers both ad-supported and commercial-free current season shows from the largest U.S. broadcast networks; libraries of hit TV series and films; and acclaimed original series including the Emmy nominated drama series The Handmaid’s Tale, The Mindy Project, The Path, 11.22.63, the Golden Globe® nominated comedy series Casual, as well as the upcoming Future Man and The Looming Tower. In 2017, Hulu added live news, entertainment and sports from 21st Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company,NBCUniversal, CBS Corporation, Turner Networks, A+E Networks and Scripps Networks Interactive to its offering – making it the only TV service that brings together live, on-demand, originals, and library content all in one place, across living room and mobile devices.

Media Hotline:
Amazon-pr@amazon.com
www.amazon.com/pr

Source: Amazon Web Services, Inc.

Amazon to introduce its best-selling Fire TV family of devices in Japan

  • The Amazon Fire TV streaming box comes packed with 4K Ultra HD, a quad core processor, dedicated GPU, best-in-class Wi-Fi, and expandable storage with microSD—all for ¥12,980
  • Fire TV Stick is the most powerful streaming media stick with a dual-core processor and dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi—all for ¥4,980
  • Say it, watch it—use voice search that actually works to instantly find movies, TV shows, and more
  • All the content—choose from tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes to stream on your HDTV
  • Plus, Fire TV comes with access to games like Final Fantasy VI, Crossy Road, and Pac-Man 256
  • For three days only: as a thank you to Prime members, Fire TV Stick is just ¥1,980

TOKYO, 2015-9-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — (NASDAQ: AMZN)—Today, Amazon is excited to introduce its best-selling Fire TV family of devices in Japan—Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, small devices that plug into your HDTV for easy and instant access to thousands of movies and TV shows from Hulu, Prime Video, GYAO!, Netflix, Amazon Video, YouTube.com, Niconico, Video Market, and more. Customers around the world are selecting Fire TV as the #1 streaming option in the living room because it offers great selection, the most convenience, and the best prices.

“Tiny devices, high performance, tons of TV shows and movies, incredible prices—customers around the world love Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, and we’re thrilled to introduce them in Japan,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “With voice search that actually works, Fire TV is a simple and easy way to make your TV more exciting—watch popular Japanese and US movies and TV shows from Prime Video, Hulu, GYAO!, Netflix, YouTube.com, and more.”

Fire TV devices are designed to be a simple and easy way to access all of your favorite movies, TV shows, and online videos in your living room. With movies and videos from Hulu, Prime Video, GYAO!, Netflix, Amazon Video, YouTube.com, and more, you get instant access to a vast selection of videos so you don’t have to go to the video store—start streaming instantly. Voice search that actually works means no more typing on an alphabet grid to find the movie you want to watch. Amazon’s exclusive ASAP feature predicts the shows you’ll want to watch and gets them ready to stream instantly. With this vast selection and exclusive features, Fire TV is a perfect way to make your TV more exciting.

Amazon Fire TV—Tiny Box, Huge Performance—¥12,980
The new Amazon Fire TV is a small yet powerful box that plugs into your HDTV and delivers fast access to movies, TV shows, songs, games, and more.

Built for Speed
Fire TV features a 64-bit, quad-core processor and a dedicated graphics engine for lightning-fast graphics and excellent fluidity. Fire TV comes with 2GB of memory, so content loads faster and games run smoother.

True-to-Life Picture Quality with 4K Ultra HD
4K Ultra HD is the next generation of entertainment and delivers a more realistic entertainment experience with 4x the resolution of 1080p. Amazon Fire TV is the only streaming media player available with support for 4K Ultra HD content. With 4K support for Prime Video, Amazon Video, and Netflix, Fire TV also provides access to more 4K Ultra HD movies than any other device.

Better HD Video Quality for More Customers
The new Amazon Fire TV is built to support High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC). In the coming months, the new Amazon Fire TV will deliver more 1080p high-definition streams from Amazon Video than ever before with HEVC—even if you don’t own a 4K TV. HEVC is roughly 2x more efficient at encoding video than the current industry standard, H.264, so less bandwidth is needed to deliver high-quality video streams. As a result, the majority of Fire TV customers will now get to experience high-quality, 1080p TV shows and movies from Amazon Video.

Audio from Dolby, the Standard in Home Audio
With Dolby Audio, enjoy rich, cinematic surround sound via HDMI to your TV or AV receiver. Plus, Dolby enhances the Bluetooth headphone support on Fire TV, so you get Dolby’s virtual surround sound, consistent quality, and enhanced volume leveling while listening to your favorite movie or TV show with headphones.

Powerful Wi-Fi Performance
Fire TV features the latest standard in Wi-Fi technology—802.11ac, dual-antenna, dual-band with MIMO—which gives you faster throughput and longer range for better performance, even if your router is located in another part of the house.

Designed to Disappear
Fire TV is designed to disappear. It is 17.8 mm thin and 115 mm wide, so it is easy to hide. Fire TV has a fan-less design and no hard drive, so it is silent even when running the most demanding applications.

Expandable microSD Storage
In addition to the 8GB of on-device storage, Fire TV offers expandable storage via microSD card slot for up to 128GB of additional storage for downloaded apps and games.

Amazon Fire TV Game Controller
You can play fun casual or high intensity games on Fire TV using the included remote control. You can also choose to play games with the Fire TV Game Controller, which enables more high-intensity and complex gaming. Simple and comfortable to use for hours, the Fire game controller features an ergonomic design, an audio jack for Dolby-enhanced private listening, and instant voice search with a built-in microphone. Plus, the new Game Controller gives you up to 90 hours of battery life on just one set of AA batteries without headphones.

Fire TV Stick—Most Powerful Streaming Stick
Amazon today also introduced Fire TV Stick in Japan, the fastest-selling Amazon device ever. Fire TV Stick is available in two configurations—a powerful, low cost option for ¥4,980 and an incredibly convenient voice search option for ¥6,480.

Tiny Device, Simple Remote
Fire TV Stick is incredibly small—roughly the size of a pack of gum—and can disappear behind your TV. The new Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote brings together the portability of the Fire TV Stick, the simple design of the Fire TV Stick Voice Remote, and the convenience of voice search.

Powerful Performance
Fire TV Stick is the most powerful streaming media stick. Fire TV Stick has a dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, Dolby Audio, 8GB on-device storage and better Wi-Fi performance than any other streaming media stick.

Connect to Your Hotel or Dorm Room Wi-Fi
Take your favorite movies, TV shows, games, and more with you away from home—Fire TV Stick is the only streaming media stick to enable you to connect to Wi-Fi that requires web authentication—this includes Wi-Fi at most major hotels, as well as some universities.

Features of the Fire TV Family
Say It, Watch It with Voice Search that Actually Works
Simply speak the name of a movie, TV show, actor, director, or genre into the Fire TV Voice Remote and you’re done. No more hunting and pecking in an alphabet grid to find your favorite TV shows and movies.

Instant Streaming with ASAP
You shouldn’t have to wait 10 seconds for a video to buffer after you press “Play”—it should start immediately. Based on your Watchlist and recommendations, the new ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) feature predicts which movies and TV episodes you’ll want to watch and prepares them for playback before you even hit play. This feature is smart—it is personalized based on your viewing habits and adapts as those habits change. The caching predictions get better over time, so ASAP will continuously improve as you use Fire TV.

Simple and Easy to Use
Fire TV comes automatically pre-registered, so you can immediately get started. No complicated set-up, no hassle—just plug it in and start watching. Fire TV features an intuitive user interface that is easily navigated with a simple remote control. All of your previously purchased movies and TV shows from Amazon, as well as personalized recommendations and your Watchlist, will be there waiting for you when you turn on Fire TV.

Easiest Way to Get Customer Service with Mayday Screen Sharing
Mayday Screen Sharing brings Mayday-powered customer service to the Fire TV streaming box, delivering 24×7, 365 days-a-year technical assistance—for free. When you call customer service by phone, the Amazon expert can remotely connect to your Fire TV—with your permission—to answer any questions you may have or to help troubleshoot. They can draw on the screen, walk you through how to do something, or do it for you—whatever works best.

Photos on your big-screen
Fire TV makes it easy to view your photos and personal videos on your TV. You can set up and play slide shows, find specific photos, and choose your favorite album for the screen-saver on Fire TV. Photos or videos you take on your phone or tablet can be automatically uploaded to Amazon Cloud Drive, so they appear on your Fire TV within seconds.

Music in Your Living Room
With Fire TV devices, you can listen to music from Amazon Music. When you purchase music from Amazon, it will be stored automatically in the Music tab on Fire TV, and available on your phone or tablet.

Fling TV Shows and Movies and Display Mirroring
Fling services like YouTube or Netflix from your Android phone or iPhone. Or, share whatever is on your small screen—including movies and TV shows, music, and photos—with everyone in your living room using display mirroring, which includes support for Fire OS and Android.

Whispersync
Amazon’s Whispersync technology saves and synchronizes your video and music library across all of your devices. Start watching a movie on your Fire tablet or iPhone, and when you get home, pick up where you left off on your Fire TV. For games that support Whispersync, your place in the game will also sync across devices so you can always pick up where you left off.

All the Content
Prime Video
Prime members in Japan now have unlimited 24×7 streaming video at no additional cost to their Prime membership—¥3,900, the equivalent of ¥325 per month. With access to Prime Video, Prime members can now instantly watch thousands of popular Japanese and U.S. movies and TV shows, popular anime, fan-favorite music concerts and variety shows and more.

Movies and TV Shows from Hulu, GYAO!, Netflix and More
Fire TV comes with instant access to popular Japanese and international video services, including Hulu, GYAO!, Netflix, YouTube.com, Niconico, Video Market, and more.

High-Quality, Low-Cost Games
Fire TV offers easy access to fun casual games for the entire family, including popular games like Final Fantasy VI, Crossy Road, and Pac-Man 256. Games on Fire TV are inexpensive too—many are free or just several hundred Yen.

The Fire Family—Pricing and Availability
Amazon Fire TV is available for pre-order starting today for ¥12,980 and will start shipping October 28.

Fire TV Stick is available for pre-order starting today for ¥4,980 and Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote is available for pre-order starting today for ¥6,480—they will start shipping October 28.

About Amazon
Amazon.com opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.

AT&T, ExxonMobil, Macy’s, Nationwide, Rite Aid, Direct Energy and Hulu join American Express to launch first U.S.-based coalition loyalty program Plenti

Debuting in Spring, Plenti Will Let Consumers Earn and Use Points across a Range of Well-Known Brands in Different Industries

NEW YORK, 2015-3-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — AT&T, ExxonMobil, Macy’s, Nationwide, Rite Aid, Direct Energy and Hulu are joining with American Express to launch Plenti, the first U.S.-based coalition loyalty program with well-known brands where consumers can earn and use Plenti points for purchasing a wide range of products, regardless of the payment method consumers choose to use. The program will officially launch this spring and is expected to include more brands in additional categories.

Recent research indicates that nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of Americans say they would prefer a rewards program that allows them to shop at many stores versus a single brand1. Plenti is designed to address that need, giving consumers options to earn points and additional value through special offers and product discounts. Plenti will be free to join, and consumers can earn points and discounts using any form of payment accepted by the participating brands, including cash, prepaid and any debit, charge or credit card.

Benefits for Consumers
Plenti offers multiple ways for consumers to earn points:

• Earn Plenti points when buying a tank of fuel at a participating Exxon- or Mobil-branded service station and use the points for savings toward a pair of shoes at Macy’s or macys.com.
• Earn Plenti points when signing up for qualifying wireless services at AT&T, or for eligible charges on AT&T wireless bills.
• Earn Plenti points for eligible Nationwide auto or property insurance.
• Earn Plenti points by taking advantage of special offers on a wide range of beauty, health and wellness and everyday items at Rite Aid.

Every 1,000 points will translate to at least $10 in savings, and Plenti members can earn points faster by activating special promotional offers across participating brands or through Plenti’s online offer center and online marketplace.

“This is a perfect time for a coalition loyalty program in the U.S., as online marketing becomes more efficient and American consumers become more accustomed to rewards programs, special offers and discounts,” said Ed Gilligan, president at American Express. “With American Express’ deep experience with the Membership Rewards® program and acquisition of Loyalty Partner in 2011, we are the right company to operate a loyalty program of this scale, involving such celebrated brands.”

Background on US Loyalty
US Loyalty is a division of American Express that will serve as the operator of Plenti, and will issue the rewards and oversee the centralized marketing activities for the program in collaboration with the founding companies. In addition, US Loyalty will be responsible for securely managing consumer data collected through Plenti.

In 2011, American Express acquired Loyalty Partner. The company operates three subsidiaries including: Payback, a leading multi-partner loyalty program designed to deliver value to consumers and generate additional revenue for participating companies. Today, Payback manages coalition loyalty programs in Germany, Italy, Poland, India and Mexico and has more than 60 million active customers.

Further information about the program will be available in the coming months.

Executive Quotes

American Express:
“We’re pleased to introduce the first U.S.-based coalition loyalty program, where consumers will have the flexibility and choice across seven well-known brands to earn and use points for purchasing a wide range of products,” said Abeer Bhatia, CEO of US Loyalty, American Express.

AT&T:
“One of the most important things we can do for our customers is to show that we appreciate them,” said David Christopher, chief marketing officer, AT&T Mobility. “We are excited to join Plenti as it is a unique way of saying thank you – through this program they get added value from being our customer.”

ExxonMobil:
“Plenti is an exciting opportunity for ExxonMobil to partner with numerous major brands to create a game-changing loyalty program in the U.S.,” said Matt Bergeron, vice president, marketing, ExxonMobil Fuels, Lubricants & Specialties Marketing Company. “This is the first and only program of its kind in the country and it will give consumers the opportunity to earn and redeem points on everyday spending, including fuels, convenience store and car wash purchases at participating Exxon- and Mobil-branded stations.”

Macy’s:
“Consumers today are busy and smart. They know good value, and they want to be rewarded for the dollars they spend day-in and day-out at their favorite stores,” said Martine Reardon, chief marketing officer, Macy’s. “Plenti will offer customers everyday opportunity to earn and to redeem those points with much more choice – so shoppers can choose to reward themselves on routine purchases, or they can save up points to buy great gifts or treat themselves to larger purchases. Macy’s is excited to be a part of breaking new ground for American consumers with a program that is focused on rewarding them frequently and with greater cumulative value.”

Nationwide:
“By partnering with Plenti, Nationwide will advance our members first mission that helps make membership more rewarding than ever,” said Matt Jauchius, chief marketing officer, Nationwide. “With this category-exclusive benefit, eligible Nationwide members who enroll in Plenti can now earn points just by paying for their insurance, and then use those points across a growing collection of America’s top brands. We’re excited to share this new benefit in 2015.”

Rite Aid:
“We are excited to join Plenti and add this compelling customer value proposition to our already successful wellness+ loyalty program,” said John Learish, senior vice president, marketing for Rite Aid. “Our customers told us that adding the ability to earn and use points for savings in our stores and at eligible Plenti partner locations, while saving up to 20% every day in our stores, significantly increases the appeal of our program and creates more reasons for them to shop at Rite Aid more often.”

Hulu:
“Hulu is always looking for ways to give our viewers the best possible experience,” said Tim Connolly, head of distribution and partnerships, Hulu. “The Plenti program is a tremendous opportunity to reward our viewers for their loyalty. We are excited to partner with Plenti and the partner brands to give viewers the chance to experience everyday wins, earn points and gain rewards.”

Direct Energy:
“Direct Energy is proud to be a part of this first-of-its-kind rewards program that gives credit to our customers for making everyday purchases, including simply paying their energy supply bill,” said Mike Beck, vice president and chief sales officer, Direct Energy. “We are always looking for innovative and exciting ways to bring value to Direct Energy customers, and Plenti allows customers to earn rewards easily and quickly.”

About Plenti
Plenti is a U.S. coalition loyalty program comprised of widely known companies, the first of which include: AT&T, ExxonMobil, Macy’s, Nationwide, Rite Aid, Direct Energy and Hulu. Plenti is designed to offer consumers greater choice and savings potential through a multi-category rewards platform. To receive more information, please visit: www.plenti.com.

1 Source: Ebiquity Study: Plenti Consumer Research, commissioned on behalf of American Express between November 14-17, 2014.

Contact:

Media: Susan Henderson 717-730-7766