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Hulu’s Move Into Live Television Makes Amazon a Surprise Winner

August 15, 2017, 9:53 PM UTC

Hulu announced yesterday that it has chosen Amazon Web Services to be the cloud provider for its recently launched streaming live TV service. The partnership once again makes Amazon a winner, even when other companies introduce products that compete with its own offerings.

A joint venture between NBCUniversal (CMCSA), Fox (FOX), Disney (DIS) and Turner, Hulu has been streaming video since the company was formed in 2007. In May 2017, Hulu premiered a live TV service to compete with Netflix and Amazon. Offering 50 channels of live programming for $39 per month, the service clearly needs more bandwidth and server space than Hulu’s previous incarnation, a $7.99 monthly streaming subscription with more than 3,500 titles.

Hence Hulu’s agreement with AWS. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The partnership is Hulu’s first large-scale cloud deployment, according to ZDNet.

“Leaders in media and entertainment like Hulu are looking for more efficient ways to build scalable streaming and OTT (over the top) solutions,” AWS’s vice president of worldwide commercial sales Mike Clayville said in a statement.

But Hulu isn’t alone in using Amazon as the backbone for its services. According to Amazon, a virtual TV Guide of media companies is running its videos through AWS, including the BBC, C-SPAN, Discovery, and PBS. But perhaps most noteworthy in the over-the-top video arms race is that Netflix depends on Amazon to serve its ever-growing library of shows and movies to customers. So, even when Amazon loses viewers to its competitors, it wins in billing for use of its servers.

Update 8/16: This story has been edited from its original version which incorrectly reported that Netflix runs its own data center, in addition to using AWS.