AWS for M&E Blog

“AWS Is How”: HGTV provides design inspiration anywhere you are

The Discovery+ app on a tablet. A subscriber enjoying HGTV favorites.


The number of people renovating and redecorating their homes rose sharply over the past year, as people spent more time in their living spaces. The uncertain environment, need to stay close to home, and low interest rates motivated people to invest in their kitchens, bedrooms, and backyard getaways.

HGTV is a top ten cable network that delivers to families relatable stories, superstar real estate and renovation experts, and amazing home transformations that inspire a passionate audience. HGTV has played a key role in the current nesting boom. Reaching over 84 million households, HGTV provides its viewers with ideas and inspiration for turning guest rooms into workspaces, living rooms into theaters, and patios into wedding venues. Plus, with the Discovery+ app, subscribers can enjoy HGTV favorites, like Good Bones and Renovation Island with Bryan and Sarah Baeumler, anywhere, anytime.

When Discovery began its global launch of Discovery+ in January this year, U.S. subscribers had access to the largest-content offering of any new streaming service. Discovery+ offered 55,000 episodes from the company’s popular brands, like Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, Animal Planet, and MotorTrend. Moreover, Discovery+ was one of the most widely distributed streaming services at launch. Available on Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Roku devices and platforms, Discovery+ allowed viewers to watch their favorite shows on any screen.

The foundation for the Discovery+ viewer experience is its streaming infrastructure, built on AWS. Discovery uses Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), which provides secure, reliable compute capacity that can scale up and down to support changes in viewer demand for Discovery+ content. Discovery also relies on Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), a high-performance storage service designed for both throughput and transaction intensive workloads, and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), which offers industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance for the Discovery+ content archive as well as metadata to enable programming decisions.

Discovery extends this solution to content producers with AWS Snowball Edge, an edge computing, data migration, and edge storage device that makes it easier to move large data files, like videos. With Snowball Edge, Discovery simplifies the delivery process for its third-party producers who are creating content at their own locations, on premises. These producers can use Snowball Edge to ship final content to Discovery for publishing on Discovery+.

To provide a personalized experience to its subscribers and help viewers select the content that interests them, Discovery counts on Amazon Personalize, a machine learning service that makes it easy for developers to add individualized recommendations to their applications. Amazon Personalize provides Discovery with a flexible, scalable service that supports the fast roll out of Discovery+ this year to tens of millions of fans in 25 countries around the world. The service also integrates easily into the Discovery+ infrastructure.

Discovery worked with AWS Professional Services to help the company implement Amazon Personalize with the speed needed to support the Discovery+ launch. AWS also helped the Discovery+ developer team integrate the product to meet its viewer experience goals and build its data engineering capability.

A technology innovator, Discovery was the first media company to move its entire media operation, from production to distribution, into the AWS Cloud. In 2020, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) awarded a Technology and Engineering Emmy to Discovery, FOX NE&O (Walt Disney Television), AWS, SDVI Corporation, and Evertz Technologies for pioneering a public cloud-based media supply chain for content ingest, management, and delivery.

See how HGTV and Discovery+ provide viewers with ideas and inspiration in the newest “AWS Is How” campaign.

Learn how AWS offers the most purpose-built services for direct-to-consumer (D2C) and streaming to help companies reliably deliver, monetize, and support live and on-demand media over the internet and bring unparalleled experiences to screens everywhere.