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AWS Data Exchange: Bringing Third-Party Data to Amazon’s Cloud

Amazon recently announced its new “AWS Data Exchange” service—users of large repositories of third-party data rejoice! With Data Exchange, AWS customers will be able to more easily take advantage of cloud-native third-party data.

What Amazon is doing here is interesting, using its position as the pre-eminent provider of infrastructure services to transform into an efficient data brokerage. AWS Data Exchange is fundamentally a marketplace for data that appeals to both buyers and sellers of data. Amazon will provide an API for integration with its S3 service, and they can pay for the data through AWS.

Major providers like Reuters have already indicated a willingness to participate in the exchange, and Amazon has floated several potential use cases for the service that cut across a wide variety of industries and specialties.

Our Take

If major data providers agree to participate – and if Amazon’s fee structure is sustainable – this Data Exchange could prove valuable for many of AWS’s clients. It also speaks to the “platform-ification” of Amazon’s services. Infrastructure-as-a-Service is all well and good, but stiff competition and the relative commodification of those services has made it more and more difficult for Amazon to keep prices high. Locking customers in with a data marketplace is a great way to make up the difference. But it may well be a win-win.

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