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IBM acquires Ustream, creates new video services unit

Ustream joins the newly-formed IBM Cloud Video Services unit that combines assets from IBM’s R&D labs and strategic acquisitions. IBM will deliver a portfolio of video services that spans open API development, digital and visual analytics, simplified management and consistent delivery across global industries.

IBM acquired Ustream, Inc., a provider of cloud-based live video streaming services. The move is expected to extend the IBM Cloud platform to help enterprise clients unlock the value of video, a digital media and data asset.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

IBM

Ustream provides cloud-based 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. IBM will deliver a portfolio of video services.

The unit will be led by GM Braxton Jarratt and will target the $105 billion opportunity in cloud-based video services and software, according to IBM estimates.

“Video has become a first-class data type in business that requires accelerated performance and powerful analytics that allows clients to extract meaningful insights,” said Robert LeBlanc, SVP, IBM Cloud. “Aligning our expansive video and cloud innovations into an integrated unit will create opportunities for clients to take advantage of this medium in the most strategic way possible.”

Video has become a primary method for engaging with customers and employees through a range of media assets, including webcasts, conference keynotes, training and education webinars, customer care and how-to videos.

As a result, clients across industries require a secure, scalable, and open cloud-based solution to manage video services. This is especially significant given researchers estimate that 80% of the world’s data is unstructured and dark to computer systems that cannot effectively manage or exploit it. Video makes up a significant part of that data.

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. Clients can use the company’s real-time social sentiment analytics to gauge audience reactions to the live streaming content. IBM will integrate Ustream’s development platform into Bluemix to allow clients to provide video services to developers.

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.

For more information, visit IBM Cloud.

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