We rolled out a powerful new feature for Amazon S3 in the final hours of 2008.
This new feature, dubbed Requester Pays, works at the level of an S3 bucket. If the bucket's owner flags it as Requester Pays, then all data transfer and request costs are paid by the party accessing the data.
The Requester Pays model can be used in two ways.
First, by simply marking a bucket as Requester Pays, data owners can provide access to large data sets without incurring charges for data transfer or requests. For example, they could make available a 1 GB dataset at a cost of just 15 cents per month (18 cents if stored in the European instance of S3). Requesters use signed and specially flagged requests to identify themselves to AWS, paying for S3 GET requests and data transfer at the usual rates — 17 cents per GB for data transfer (even less at high volumes) and 1 cent for every 10,000 GET requests. The newest version of the S3 Developer Guide contains the information needed to make use of S3 in this way.
Second, the Requester Pays feature can be used in conjunction with Amazon DevPay. Content owners charge a markup for access to the data. The price can include a monthly fee, a markup on the data transfer costs, and a markup on the cost of each GET. The newest version of the DevPay Developer Guide has all of the information needed to set this up, including some helpful diagrams. Organizations with large amounts of valuable data can now use DevPay to expose and monetize the data, with payment by the month or by access (or some combination). For example, I could create a database of all dog kennels in the United States, and make it available for $20 per month, with no charge for access. My AWS account would not be charged for the data transfer and request charges, only for the data storage.
I firmly believe that business model innovation is as important as technical innovation. This new feature gives you the ability to create the new, innovative, and very efficient business models that you will need to have in order to succeed in 2009!-- Jeff;