Amazon S3 Pricing: How Expensive is it to use S3? - S3 Media Vault - WordPress Plugin for Amazon S3 and CloudFront That Provides a S3 Audio Player and a S3 Video Player

Amazon S3 Pricing: How Expensive is it to use S3?

By Ravi Jayagopal | S3MediaVault

One question we get asked frequently, is about how expensive Amazon S3 is if you're going to use it for all of your Videos, Audio, PDF's, Docs, Zip files, and images?

The first thing to note is that Amazon S3 has two types of pricing:

1) For Storage, and
2) For Usage

If you just upload a bunch of files to S3, and those files never get downloaded (regardless of file type), then you'll be paying for just storage.

But if you embed those files in your member's area using a plugin like, and your members are watching your videos, listening to your audios, and downloading your PDF's/Docs/Zips, then you'll be paying for Storage *and* Usage.

If you're thinking about storing the files on your own website, don't (read this to see why).

The good news is that the cost of S3 is really low. And there are no fixed monthly costs. You only pay for what you use.

So unless you have hundreds of large videos and thousands of members consuming your content every day, the average S3 bill (based on what we've seen with our own account and from asking others) is going to be between $5 - $20 a month.

Amazon has a pricing calculator, but it can be a bit confusing. So here's you a rough idea. This is for Video, as that's usually the main kind of content in most online courses.

If you have...

  • 50 videos in your membership site,
  • 50 MB in size each
  • 50 members who watch each the video at least
  • 1 time
  • Bandwidth used per member = 2.5 GB
  • Rough S3 cost = $0.023 per GB 

Cost of S3 per member = 2.5 GB x $0.023 = $0.057
Roughly ~= 6 cents/member per month

Multiplied by 50 = $3 in bandwidth costs for all 50 members combined.

So your overall monthly bill would be $3/month.

Also, S3 has tiered pricing, so costs won't necessarily go up directly in proportion to increased usage.

You could use a video service like Vimeo to host your videos, but Vimeo doesn't support Audio, PDF's, Zips, Docs, Images, etc - only videos, Also, Vimeo does not offer "impossible-to-download" AES 128-bit encrypted HLS streaming like S3MediaVault can.

So if you want a single, integrated, easy-to-use solution for securing and delivering all of your premium content and media files, with maximum security for your videos, at a really low cost, then a combination of Amazon S3 and is your best option.

AWS Free Tier

AWS also offers a free tier for new users. Here's what you get for free.

Free: 12 Months
Free: 5 GB of standard storage
Free: 20,000 Get Requests
Free: 2,000 Put Requests
No monthly costs
Pay as you go


About the Author

Ravi Jayagopal is a Business Coach, 8-time Author, Speaker, Podcaster, Entrepreneur, Digital Marketer, WordPress Developer and also an Amateur Ventriloquist :-). Read more about him at

Leave a Comment:

Leave a Comment: