Use Azure AD authentication to access the Media Services API with REST


No new features or functionality are being added to Media Services v2.
Check out the latest version, Media Services v3. Also, see migration guidance from v2 to v3

When you're using Azure AD authentication with Azure Media Services, you can authenticate in one of two ways:

  • User authentication authenticates a person who is using the app to interact with Azure Media Services resources. The interactive application should first prompt the user for credentials. An example is a management console app that's used by authorized users to monitor encoding jobs or live streaming.

  • Service principal authentication authenticates a service. Applications that commonly use this authentication method are apps that run daemon services, middle-tier services, or scheduled jobs, such as web apps, function apps, logic apps, APIs, or microservices.

    This tutorial shows you how to use Azure AD service principal authentication to access AMS API with REST.


    Service principal is the recommended best practice for most applications connecting to Azure Media Services.

In this tutorial, you learn how to:

  • Get the authentication information from the Azure portal
  • Get the access token using Postman
  • Test the Assets API using the access token


Currently, Media Services supports the Azure Access Control services authentication model. However, Access Control authentication will be deprecated June 1, 2018. We recommend that you migrate to the Azure AD authentication model as soon as possible.


Get the authentication information from the Azure portal


To access Media Services API, you need to collect the following data points.

Setting Example Description
Azure Active Directory tenant domain Azure AD as a Secure Token Service (STS) endpoint is created using the following format:{}/oauth2/token. Azure AD issues a JWT in order to access resources (an access token).
REST API endpoint This is the endpoint against which all Media Services REST API calls in your application are made.
Client ID (Application ID) f7fbbb29-a02d-4d91-bbc6-59a2579259d2 Azure AD application (client) ID. The client ID is required to get the access token.
Client Secret +mUERiNzVMoJGggD6aV1etzFGa1n6KeSlLjIq+Dbim0= Azure AD application keys (client secret). The client secret is required to get the access token.

Get AAD auth info from the Azure portal

To get the information, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the Azure portal.

  2. Navigate to your AMS instance.

  3. Select API access.

  4. Click on Connect to Azure Media Services API with service principal.

    API access

  5. Select an existing Azure AD application or create a new one (shown below).


    For the Azure Media REST request to succeed, the calling user must have a Contributor or Owner role for the Media Services account it is trying to access. If you get an exception that says "The remote server returned an error: (401) Unauthorized," see Access control.

    If you need to create a new AD app, follow these steps:

    1. Press Create New.

    2. Enter a name.

    3. Press Create New again.

    4. Press Save.

      API access

      The new app shows up on the page.

  6. Get the Client ID (Application ID).

    1. Select the application.

    2. Get the Client ID from the window on the right.

      API access

  7. Get the application's Key (client secret).

    1. Click the Manage application button (notice that the Client ID info is under Application ID).

    2. Press Keys.

      API access

    3. Generate the app key (client secret) by filling in DESCRIPTION and EXPIRES and pressing Save.

      Once the Save button is pressed, the key value appears. Copy the key value before leaving the blade.

    API access

You can add values for AD connection parameters to your web.config or app.config file, to later use in your code.


The Client key is an important secret and should be properly secured in a key vault or encrypted in production.

Get the access token using Postman

This section shows how to use Postman to execute a REST API that returns a JWT Bearer Token (access token). To call any Media Services REST API, you need to add the "Authorization" header to the calls, and add the value of "Bearer your_access_token" to each call (as shown in the next section of this tutorial). 

  1. Open Postman.

  2. Select POST.

  3. Enter the URL that includes your tenant name using the following format: the tenant name should end with and the URL should end with oauth2/token:{}/oauth2/token

  4. Select the Headers tab.

  5. Enter the Headers information using the "Key/Value" data grid.

    Data Grid

    Alternatively, click Bulk Edit link on the right of the Postman window and paste the following code.

  6. Press the Body tab.

  7. Enter the body information using the "Key/Value" data grid (replace the client ID and secret values).

    Data Grid

    Alternatively, click Bulk Edit on the right of the Postman window and paste the following body (replace the client ID and secret values):

     client_id:{Your Client ID that you got from your Azure AD Application}
     client_secret:{Your client secret that you got from your Azure AD Application's Keys}
  8. Press Send.

    get token

The returned response contains the access token that you need to use to access any AMS APIs.

Test the Assets API using the access token

This section shows how to access the Assets API using Postman.

  1. Open Postman.

  2. Select GET.

  3. Paste the REST API endpoint (for example,

  4. Select the Authorization tab.

  5. Select Bearer Token.

  6. Paste the token that was created in the previous section.

    get token


    The Postman UX could be different between a Mac and PC. If the Mac version does not have the "Bearer Token" option in the Authentication section dropdown, you should add the Authorization header manually on the Mac client.

    Auth header

  7. Select Headers.

  8. Click Bulk Edit link on the right the Postman window.

  9. Paste the following headers:

  10. Press Send.

The returned response contains the assets that are in your account.

Next steps