With this move, IBM will enable its corporate clients to share live video streaming across many industries.
Ustream will join IBM’s newly-formed IBM Cloud Video Services unit that will provide a powerful portfolio of video services with open API development, digital and visual analytics, simplified management and steady delivery across various industries.
With video becoming a standard way to communication and a good method of engaging with customers and employees alike, more and more enterprises are embracing video streaming, webcasts, conference keynotes, training and education webinars. With the buyout, the company aims to tap into the $105bn opportunity in cloud-based video services and software.
The new IBM Cloud Video Services unit will be led by general manager Braxton Jarratt. The unit will combine assets from Ustream and other newly acquired companies like Clearleap and Cleversafe with its own R&D innovations and patented video technologies. IBM hopes to provide leading cloud platform that can update and store video data, stream live video and on-demand video.
IBM Cloud senior vice president, Robert LeBlanc said: "Video has become a first-class data type in business that requires accelerated performance and powerful analytics that allows clients to extract meaningful insights.
"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."
Ustream CEO Brad Hunstable said: "Video is the most powerful and emotional medium. Increasingly it is becoming the favoured form of communication, not just for entertainment, but also for business.
"We’ve built a video platform that is easy-to-use, yet incredibly scalable, secure and powerful and it is these qualities that made us an ideal addition to IBM’s portfolio."
IBM Cloud Video Services, general manager, Braxton Jarratt said: "Through this latest acquisition and the creation of a new cloud business unit, IBM will provide an end-to-end suite of digital video solutions for the first time under one roof.
"As a result, clients will be able to take advantage of every stage of the video life cycle through advances in customisation, digital access, visual analytics and more, all to enable the consistent delivery of video content globally."
Ustream provides video streaming services to enterprises and broadcasters for everything from corporate keynotes to live music concerts. Ustream currently has 80 million viewers per month.
The company also provides on-demand video streaming as well. Some of its clients include NASA, Samsung, Facebook, Nike, Sony and the Discovery Channel. Ustream has also developed a platform where its clients can create customised apps that can run videos across any device and embed it seamlessly.
IBM had previously acquired Clearleap in December, 2015. Clearleap was a cloud-based video services provider. Clearsafe was acquired by IBM in November, 2015. Clearsafe was a developer and manufacturer of object-based storage software and appliances.