This page explains how Agora calculates your monthly bill for using Interactive Live Streaming Standard.
Note that if you have already signed a contract with Agora, the billing terms and conditions within that contract take precedence.
Billing occurs monthly. At the end of each month, Agora calculates the total duration of the audio and video usage (in minutes) for that month in all projects under your Agora account. Note that video usage is divided into four different types based on aggregate resolution and priced individually. After deducting the monthly 10,000 free-of-charge minutes that Agora grants to every account, Agora multiplies any remaining usage by its corresponding unit price and adds up the costs to get the total cost for that month.
The basic formula is shown here:
Monthly cost = audio minutes × audio unit price + video minutes of each type × video unit price of each type
In each video call or live streaming event, users communicate with each other in an RTC channel. Agora measures the usage for each user from the moment they join a channel to the moment they leave it. If a user subscribes to video from other users in the channel, the usage is counted as video usage (of the applicable type); otherwise, the usage is counted as audio usage.
Agora calculates usage based solely on a user’s subscriptions in the channels they join. Whether they publish streams does not matter.
Audio usage is the default rate at which users are billed for joining a channel. Any time a user spends in a channel where they do not subscribe to video is counted as audio usage, regardless of whether they actually subscribe to audio from another user.
Note that in channels with only one user, this usage is counted as audio usage, because the user does not subscribe to any video.
Video usage is the amount of time that a user in a channel subscribes to video (of any type) from other users. When a user subscribes to both audio and video at the same time, Agora only counts this as video usage.
Agora calculates video usage for each user based on aggregate resolution. Aggregate resolution is the sum of the resolutions of all the video streams a user subscribes to at the same time, that is, the total number of pixels in the video streams the user receives. This calculation applies when a user subscribes to one video stream or multiple video streams.
Based on the aggregate resolution of all the video streams received, Agora divides video into the following types and calculates the usage duration of each type separately:
|Video type||Aggregate resolution (px)|
|High-definition (HD)||Less than or equal to 921,600 (1280 × 720)|
|Full High-definition (Full HD)||From greater than 921,600 (1280 × 720) to 2,073,600 (1920 × 1080)|
|2K||From greater than 2,073,600 (1920 × 1080) to 3,686,400 (2560 × 1440)|
|2K+||From greater than 3,686,400 (2560 × 1440) to 8,847,360 (4096 × 2160)|
For example, if a user subscribes to two 960 × 720 video streams at the same time, the aggregate resolution is (960 × 720) + (960 × 720) = 1,382,400. Because 1,382,400 is greater than 921,600 but less than 2,073,600, Agora counts this video usage as Full HD type and bills it at the Full HD unit price.
In a live-streaming channel, Agora charges for audio and video service usage based on the role and level of the user.
Host: A user with the host user role is a host. The audio and video minutes of a host are billed based on Interactive Live Streaming Premium pricing.
Interactive Live Streaming Standard audience: A user with the audience user role and the low latency user level is an audience member in Interactive Live Streaming Standard. The audio and video minutes of an audience member in Interactive Live Streaming Standard are billed based on Interactive Live Streaming Standard pricing.
Interactive Live Streaming Premium audience: A user with the audience user role and the ultra-low latency user level is an audience member in Interactive Live Streaming Premium. The audio and video minutes of an audience member in Interactive Live Streaming Premium are billed based on Interactive Live Streaming Premium pricing.
When an audience member in Interactive Live Streaming Standard subscribes to audio and video, the pricing is as follows:
|Usage type||Pricing (US$/1,000 minutes)|
|Video Full HD||4.59|
After deducting the first free-of-charge 10,000 minutes, Agora calculates your monthly total usage of Interactive live Streaming Standard and automatically applies the following discounts:
|Minutes used||Discount level|
|100,000 to 499,999||5%|
|500,000 to 999,999||7%|
|1,000,000 to 3,000,000||10%|
This section uses an example of interactive live video streaming involving five users to illustrate how Agora calculates aggregate video resolution, service minutes, and charges.
Five users join a channel at the same time and have interactive live video streaming for 60 minutes. In the video streaming, there are three hosts (Host A, B, and C), each with a video resolution set to 960 × 720. Two audience members subscribe to the low-latency live streaming from the hosts. Meanwhile, Host A shares their screen with all other users in the channel. The video resolution of the shared screen stream is set to and received at 1920 x 1080.
The following table lists the aggregate resolution of the video streams that each user subscribes to, which determines the unit price for their video usage：
|User||Video streams subscribed||Aggregate video resolution||Total||Video category|
|Host A + screen sharing||2 hosts||960 × 720 × 2||1,382,400||Full HD|
|Host B||2 hosts + Host A's screen sharing||(960 × 720 × 2) + (1920 x 1080)||3,456,000||2K|
|Host C||2 hosts + Host A's screen sharing||(960 × 720 × 2) + (1920 x 1080)||3,456,000||2K|
|Audience Member 1||3 hosts + Host A's screen sharing||(960 × 720 × 3) + (1920 x 1080)||4,147,200||2K+|
|Audience Member 2||3 hosts + Host A's screen sharing||(960 × 720 × 3) + (1920 x 1080)||4,147,200||2K+|
The following table shows the calculation of the total cost of the video streaming：
|Billed service||Total usage duration (minutes) = Sum of all individual durations||Unit price ($US/1,000 minutes)||Cost of each service ($US)||Total cost($US)|
||(60/1000) × 4.59 = 0.2754||
|2K||60 × 2 = 120||7.99
||(120/1000) × 7.99 = 0.9588|
|2K+||60 × 2 = 120||17.99
||(120/1000) × 17.99 = 2.1588|
This section provides additional information for your reference.
Agora bills usage by the minute but records usage by the second. Monthly usage for billing is actually calculated by totaling each type of usage (in seconds) and then dividing by 60, rounding up to the nearest integer. For example, if the audio usage for a month is 59 seconds, then this is billed as 1 minute; if the HD video usage for a month is 61 seconds, then this is billed as 2 minutes. Therefore, the margin of error for usage of each type per month is less than 1 minute.
In dual-stream mode, the aggregate video resolution for each user is calculated as follows:
In scenarios involving screen sharing, the unit price of the screen-sharing stream is calculated on the basis of the video dimension that you set in ScreenCaptureParameters. For details, see descriptions in the following classes:
When calculating aggregate resolution, Agora counts the 640 × 352 (225,280) resolution as if it is 640 × 360 (230,400).
If your scenario involves interactive live streaming standard alongside other Agora products or services, such as Real-time Messaging, Cloud Recording, or Interactive Whiteboard, expect additional charges. For details, see the pricing documents for each Agora product or service.
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If the connection is lost under poor network conditions, the calculated duration maybe inaccurate. Use Agora RTM SDK or a different signaling system to implement a heartbeat mechanism, and get the disconnected time of the client. You can calculate the user's call duration by subtracting the disconnected time of the client from the call duration obtained from the Agora RTC SDK.