San Francisco’s Ustream gets bought by IBM

Ustream may provide live, video-streaming services via the cloud, but its sky is looking blue. Big Blue, in fact, thanks to IBM.

That’s because IBM said Thursday it would acquire Ustream and make the San Francisco company part of IBM’s new Cloud Video Services business unit. Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but some speculation said the deal may have been worth $130 million.

Ustream provides video-streaming technology and services to approximately 80 million viewers a month. Its clients include Facebook, Nike, the Discovery Channel and NASA. IBM plans to incorporate Ustream along with recent acquisitions Clearleap, Cleversafe and Aspera into its new Cloud Video Services division as part of its efforts to use video as a means of boosting its own analytics and marketing technologies.

“Video’s becoming a primary data type,” said Steve Canepa, general manager of global telecommunications, media and entertainment for IBM. “What’s happening is video is fundamentally starting to change the application architecture of every industry. The ability to analyze and personalize video goes hand in glove with providing a secure element for video.”

IBM estimates that the worldwide market for cloud-based video services and software is currently worth $105 billion.

Ustream was founded in 2007, and in addition to its San Francisco headquarters, the company has data-center operations in San Jose. Company co-founder and Chief Executive Brad Hunstable said in a statement announcing the deal that it was Ustream’s expertise in secure, scalable video “that made us an ideal addition to IBM’s portfolio.”

Photo credit: IBM


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