Ustream, in operation since 2007, delivers live and on-demand video streaming to enterprises and broadcasters for everything from corporate keynotes to live music concerts. The company streams live and on-demand video to about 80 million viewers per month for customers such as NASA, Samsung, Facebook, Nike and The Discovery Channel.
Ustream joins the newly-formed IBM Cloud Video Services unit that combines assets from IBM's R&D labs and strategic acquisitions. The new cloud video services unit will provide improved analysis and access to its business clients' growing databases of video. The financial terms of the acquisitions were not disclosed, however Fortune magazine reported on Wednesday that IBM might buy UStream for about $130 million in the deal.
At the heart of the Ustream portfolio is the open Ustream Development Platform which enables clients to create custom video apps to run video on any device and embed video into any application, securely and reliably. Clients can use the company’s real-time social sentiment analytics to gauge audience reactions to the live streaming content.
In addition, the Ustream portfolio comprises several video solutions, including Ustream Demand, which enables marketers to collect and automate leads into marketing workflows and manage live and on-demand videos from a single dashboard; Ustream Align, which enables secure internal employee communications; and Ustream Pro Broadcasting which offers live video streaming at scale.
The cloud video unit gives IBM another market in which to compete and opens up a lot of wider market opportunities around mobile, ads, storage and communications. IBM estimates the demand in cloud-based video services at $105 billion in 2016. It’s obvious that the company sees a huge opportunity here and it has used its buying power to get in the game.