AWS for M&E Blog

Build a multi-tenant chargeback model for media channel workloads


In the dynamic realm of media and entertainment, the demand for innovative solutions is pronounced. Multi-tenant applications allow diverse stakeholders to coexist within a single ecosystem while harnessing shared resources. Yet, as the digital landscape continues to evolve, so do the challenges associated with optimizing resource allocation, cost efficiency, and performance management.

As the industry embraces dynamic collaboration and distributed content creation, the need for precise resource allocation and cost attribution has surged. A multi-tenant chargeback model is pivotal in ensuring resource allocation and cost distribution among stakeholders within a single ecosystem. Furthermore, having the ability to outline costs on-per-event/program basis, whether they are driven from a broadcast schedule or user-managed programming, helps customers evaluate return on investments more granularly.

This blog post outlines how to allocate costs on a per broadcast event/program basis.

Solution overview

In the evolving landscape of media and entertainment (M&E), the Broadcast-as-a-Service (BaaS) model is redefining shared ecosystems, where tenants dynamically shift on an hourly basis. This presents a unique challenge for resource allocation. The Amazon Web Services (AWS) team has developed a framework with an approach to dynamically tag resources, ensuring precision in cost attribution within a multi-tenant chargeback model.

This solution caters to the variability in usage, exemplified by events like a soccer match followed by a basketball game, within the same ecosystem, same day, and separate business unit for payment. The AWS team developed a user-friendly interface for variable usage, seamlessly integrating scheduled events and operator-driven interventions.

By ingesting schedules from the traffic system, the event tagging solution associates events with unique identifiers and durations, allowing for the accurate tagging of AWS resources. In the absence of a traffic system, the user interface allows operators to select events/programs to be assigned. This not only streamlines the chargeback process, but also enhances the adaptability and efficiency of multi-tenant live remote production workflows.

Diagram showing the high level solution overview

Figure 1: High-level solution overview

Dynamic resource tagging

In response to the dynamic nature of multi-tenant live remote productions, this solution employs a serverless architecture, ensuring efficiency on an as-needed basis. The cornerstone of this approach lies in the dynamic resource tagging mechanism, seamlessly integrating broadcast schedules, event/program IDs, and program durations.

  • Serverless Architecture
    • AWS Lambda functions handle the dynamic resource tagging process, scaling effortlessly with demand
    • AWS Step Functions orchestrate the workflow, ensuring a seamless event-driven execution model
  • High Availability with Elastic Load Balancing (ELB):
  • Dynamic Resource Tagger
    • Uses broadcast schedules, event IDs, and program durations to dynamically tag AWS resources accurately
    • In absence of broadcast schedules, operator chosen event/programs can be used to dynamically tag AWS resources
    • AWS Cost & Usage Reports (CUR) leverage these tags to generate detailed billing data, capturing nuanced resource consumption
  • User Interface Portal for Operator Interventions
    • Employs a user-friendly portal allowing operators to initiate APIs for live events and breaking news, modifying resource presets to override scheduled configurations
    • Enhances user control and flexibility in real-time broadcasting scenarios
  • Authentication and Authorization
    • Incorporates Amazon Cognito for authentication and authorization mechanisms

Multi-tenant chargeback dashboard

In our multi-tenant chargeback architecture, the heart of transparency lies in the detailed visualization of granular costs through a robust dashboard. This dynamic dashboard, powered by AWS services, provides stakeholders with actionable insights into resource consumption. Here’s how it works:

  • Resource Tagging for Granular Cost Attribution
    • Resources are tagged using the dynamic resource tagging solution, enabling precise identification and cost attribution
    • AWS Cost & Usage Reports (CUR) leverage these tags to generate detailed billing data, capturing nuanced resource consumption
  • AWS Glue for ETL Processing
    • AWS Glue, a fully managed ETL service, takes charge of extracting, transforming, and loading data from CUR reports stored in an Amazon S3
    • Glue Crawlers automatically infer database and table schema, populating the AWS Glue Data Catalog with metadata for seamless querying
  • Amazon Athena for Querying CUR Reports
    • Amazon Athena uses the AWS Glue Data catalog, querying CUR reports directly from the Amazon S3 bucket
    • Running queries enables efficient extraction of relevant cost data, providing a dynamic and responsive approach to data analysis
  • Dashboard Visualization
    • Various dashboard options, such as Grafana, Amazon Managed Grafana, and Amazon Quicksight, cater to diverse visualization needs, allowing stakeholders to interact with and comprehend cost data efficiently
  • Interactive Insights for Stakeholders
    • The multi-tenant chargeback dashboard offers stakeholders a user-friendly interface to explore, filter, and analyze granular cost data
    • By visualizing costs associated with specific events/program, stakeholders gain actionable insights into resources utilization and associated expenses


AWS has developed a comprehensive framework for dynamic resource tagging that can provide customers with the ability to query and display granular costs from the AWS Cost & Usage Report on a multi-tenant as well as a multi-program basis.

This comprehensive approach to dynamic resource tagging empowers broadcasters to query and visualize granular costs from AWS Cost & Usage Reports (CUR) on both multi-tenant and multi-program bases. This framework represents more than just a technical solution; it’s a catalyst for increased operational efficiency and reduced manual efforts traditionally associated with billing allocations.

By seamlessly integrating AWS services such as Lambda, Step Functions, Athena, Glue, and visualization tools like Grafana and QuickSight, AWS has crafted a robust architecture that adapts to the dynamic nature of live remote productions. Stakeholders can now explore detailed cost breakdowns associated with specific events or programs, fostering informed decision-making and strategic cost optimization.

CBS Sports launched the Golazo Network in 2023 on AWS, with an environment that supports multiple sporting events and with a need to allocate costs per event. AWS Professional Services worked with CBS Sports to deploy this solution for the CBS Sports Golazo Network.

“We recently partnered with AWS to build a new compute tagging platform that allows us the ability to create a granular billing allocation for our multi customer Cloud Master Control environment, simplifying our view of how compute has been allocated for accurate reporting to our finance teams.” – Corey Smith, Senior Director, Advanced Production Technologies, CBS Sports

For more information, see the AWS Professional Services page or reach out to your AWS account manager.

Aekta Joshi

Aekta Joshi

Aekta is a Principal Media & Entertainment Architect for ProServe Media and Entertainment at AWS. She is responsible for helping customers and partners in broadcast to accelerate their own success in the AWS cloud.

Danish Shamim

Danish Shamim

Danish Shamim is a Senior Media Cloud Architect at AWS.

Vince Palazzo

Vince Palazzo

Vince Palazzo is a Sr Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services. He is focused on helping enterprise Media and Entertainment customers build and operate workloads securely on AWS.