Azure Media Services PlayReady license delivery pricing explained

We have received a few questions regarding how we charge PlayReady license delivered from Azure Media Services, hence, I decide to write a blog to explain.

In Azure Pricing page, under Media Services, you will see a tab called Content Protection, and it states:

playready pricing


This $0.4/100 means that if you customers device received 1000 PlayReady Licenses, you will be charged at $4 dollars. However, how you define your PlayReady License will affect number of times a device retrieve license from you when customer watches a particular content.

Persistent license vs. Non-persistent license 
If you use non-persistent license, for the same content, each close/shutdown and startup of player to play the content implies a license request. If you choose Persistent License with a expiry duration – let’s say 3 days, then if the user only watches this particular content within 3 days, he doesn’t need another license if he closes the video player. However, a new license needs to be reissued if he watches the content after three days.

Therefore, the total cost of PlayReady licenses depends on how you define your license and total number of content that your user will watch (Not total content you have). Here are two examples:

    • • You are using Persistent License with a expiry duration of 24 hours. You have 1000 user, in average watching 2 movies per day, and all of them finish watching the content within 24 hours. Then you are paying 1000*2*$0.4/100=$8 a day.• You are using Non-Persistent License. You have 100 user, in average watching 2 movies per day, and they usually finish a show with one interruption in between (close the player at least once). Therefore, you will pay at least 1000*2*$0.4/100*2= $16 a day.
  • The question would be why do I ever want to use Non-Persistent License since it costs more?

  • The answer is it depends what you need. To some customers minimizing the cost of license delivery will be important and they may lean more towards persistent licenses with an expiration.  Other customers may be more concerned with precise access control and they may choose to issue an in memory only license per playback so that they can check the customer’s access before issuing the license each time. Hope that make sense to you.
  • So far, I have only talk about PlayReady License delivery, how about Client SDK? As we know PlayReady SDK for Windows (Silverlight), Xbox and Windows Phone are free to use. However, if you are using Playready Client SDK for iOS and Android, please check with PlayReady team for pricing ( This is not within the scope of Azure Media Services.
  • Thanks.

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