Welcoming Amazon Web Services to the Push Notification Ecosystem

The pace of mobile device adoption is like nothing we’ve ever seen—two times faster than the Internet and three times faster than social media—and over the last four years mobile apps have evolved from novel curiosities to capture 80% of the time consumers spend with their mobile devices. As a result, apps have become the core focus for brands seeking deeper connections with their customers and push notifications have gone from a technical capability to a proven lifeline for apps looking to grow and sustain user engagement. We didn't need external validation, as Urban Airship is the undisputed global push messaging leader across all major mobile platforms, but we do see the introduction of Mobile Push for Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) as a significant endorsement of the value of push notifications, a clear means to reducing cost of delivery and another sign of the push market maturing. 

We’ve supported push on Kindle since it first launched and we employ Amazon Web Services (AWS) as part of our hybrid cloud architecture that supports many of our services today. Between AWS services (EC2, S3, and Direct Connect), our distributed bare-metal infrastructure and Akamai Dynamic Site Accelerator, we adeptly handle the heavy lifting and raw transmission for the massive scale and high-performance required by some of the largest, most real-time organizations in the world including ESPN, The London Olympics, Sky Broadcasting and the big three television networks. Urban Airship’s platform reigns supreme with scale and speed unattained by any other vendor in the market.

As major players like Amazon and Microsoft extend beyond their own devices to make it easy for developers to add simple, cheap and highly scalable cross-platform push notification support, developers of all stripes (with or without a revenue model) will have more options to add basic unicast and broadcast push notifications to their apps, and the industry will gain another voice beating the drum on the importance of push notifications. Over time, Amazon SNS may be something we look to incorporate into our portfolio of services to offer more options and reduce costs for customers while future-proofing their deployments.

We’ve always known that push notifications at the transport layer will become commoditized, which explains all of our efforts over the last two years to add advanced features and shift our focus from a developer resource to a platform for Mobile Relationship Management. Mobile engagement that matters to customers isn’t about receiving messages or lots of them, but rather getting the right message at the right place and the right time.  Context and relevance are king. To execute mobile engagement (and MRM) effectively, you need to use everything customers choose to share with you to create engaging experiences that foster brand loyalty and mutual long-term value. And you certainly can’t do that sending one-size-fits-all messages.

To support right-time messaging, we’ve heavily invested in sophisticated segmentation and targeting capabilities, including the flexibility to combine users’ complete location profiles with in-app behaviors and preferences for powerful, precision-targeted messages. Recently we’ve enabled app publishers to take these targeting options beyond their opted-in audience to reach all app users with highly relevant in-app messaging.

Perhaps even more important than a feature-set that continues to rapidly evolve, Urban Airship offers industry-leading customer support, enterprise-class services, deep analytics and ongoing best practices education that empower brands to create the type of differentiated customer experiences that are required to win in mobile. Our customers large and small are disrupting industries and continuing to advance what’s possible with mobile, and you can hear that in their own words through our case studies and insights for brand leaders. 

We look forward to continuing our partnership with Amazon to offer our customers more options, reduce costs and improve speed and scale in reaching Kindle users and now other OSes. As more companies understand the lift that even basic push delivers, we’ll be on-hand with the advanced options proven to drive exponentially greater results.