IBM is set to acquire live video stream provider Ustream in a deal worth a reported $130 million.
The acquisition of the San Francisco-based company is intended to help sell more video services to clients through its cloud platform, including the National Football League, HBO and the Food Network.
Founded in 2007, Ustream has raised $50 million from investors, including SoftBank Group Corp’s venture arm and DCM Ventures.
Ustream’s cloud model supports live and on-demand video streams, currently attracting 80 million viewers per month, including customers such as Facebook, Samsung, Nike and the Discovery Channel.
The acquisition is the latest addition to IBM’s Cloud Video Services unit, joining Clearleap, Ustream, Aspera and Cleversafe, as well as IBM’s own R&D inventions.
According to Upstream CEO Brad Hunstable, the company’s understanding of how cloud computing can help rationalise costs is invaluable, due to the significant expense involved in managing and providing video. “We’ve built a video platform that is easy to use, yet incredibly scalable and powerful. It is these qualities that made us an ideal addition to IBM’s portfolio,” Hunstable said.
The Ustream Development Platform is designed to help clients create custom video apps to run video on any device and embed video into any application. IBM plans to integrate the platform into Bluemix to allow clients to provide video services to developers.
It also includes Ustream Demand, which lets marketers collect and automate leads into marketing workflows and Ustream Pro Broadcasting, which offer large scale live video streaming.
IBM estimates there is a target market for cloud-based video services and software worth a potential $105 billion.