One question we get asked frequently, is how expensive is Amazon S3 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 S3MediaVault.com, 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. So unless you have hundreds of 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
Cost of S3 per member = $0.14 (14 cents)
Multiplied by 50 = $7
So your overall monthly bill would be $7/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,
So if you want one single, integrated, easy-to-use solution for securing and delivering all of your premium content and media files, at a really low cost, then a combination of Amazon S3 and S3MediaVault.com is your best option.