Enterprise

IBM Confirms Acquisition Of UStream, Forms New Cloud Video Unit

Comment

UStream.TV t-shirt.
Image Credits: homard.net (opens in a new window) / Flickr (opens in a new window) under a CC BY 2.0 (opens in a new window) license.

IBM confirmed that it has acquired video conferencing service UStream this morning. With several cloud video acquisitions in tow, the company also announced it was forming a new cloud video services unit.

Fortune first reported the UStream purchase and reports peg the purchase price at $130 million. IBM would not confirm that amount.

The new unit will be comprised of four acquisitions: UStream, ClearLeap video management, which IBM bought in December; Cleversafe, a video storage service IBM bought in October and Aspera, a large-file transfer tool IBM bought at the end of 2013.

Braxton Jarratt, who came to IBM as part of the ClearLeap deal, has been chosen to run this new unit. He says UStream gives the company that missing streaming piece that allows them to form this unit with a full-service enterprise video offering.

A Company With A Plan

The company seems to have had a plan for video for some time and the purchase of these components in quick succession was not something done willy-nilly, says Jarratt.

“IBM doesn’t shoot from the hip. One of the things we were impressed with when we started engaging with IBM [last Fall] was there was a big master plan behind this acquisition. Sometimes companies make purchases in reaction to a move by a competitor. That was clearly not case here. This was a well thought out plan to incorporate video into a [cohesive] cloud unit,” Jarratt told TechCrunch.

As with any purchase by IBM these days, there is the pure service component and there is the ability to expose that service as APIs in Bluemix, the company’s Platform as a Service offering. The new cloud unit is no different. The company hopes third-party developers will take these pieces and create entirely new ways of delivering video, Jarratt said.

What’s more, the company plans to incorporate other pieces like Watson for analytics, something that customers were asking for around video delivery at  CES earlier this month. They want to know information like how long people are engaged and what kinds of actions they can take to stop churn. “They instantly get it,” he said.

The Bigger Picture

This move has to be seen in a much broader context than simply creating a cloud video unit. The company released its earnings this week, and even while IBM beat analysts expectations with $22.1 billion in revenue, it could not stop the revenue decline for the fifteenth straight quarter.

Even while the results continue to disappoint, IBM is trying to transform into a more modern company, one that concentrates on cloud, analytics, security and big data.

All of these different pieces are designed as a holistic solution that crosses traditional company silos. As these earnings show, this transition is a slow process, but IBM did report that the cloud piece is beginning to show progress.

“One thing that is a milestone in the cloud unit, we surpassed $10 billion revenue run rate [in last week’s earnings report], which is huge, especially from a unit that didn’t technically exist a little over a year ago,” Jarratt said.

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. It’s obvious that the company sees a huge opportunity here and it has used its buying power to get in the game.

“The addressable market [for video] is little over $105 billion by 2019, which is not that far away. We now think we have the most compelling set of capabilities to meet that,” Jarratt said.

 

More TechCrunch

London-based fintech Vitesse has closed a $93 million Series C round of funding led by investment giant KKR.

Vitesse, a payments and treasury management platform for insurers, raises $93M to fuel US expansion

Zen Educate, an online marketplace that connects schools with teachers, has raised $37 million in a Series B round of funding. The raise comes amid a growing teacher shortage crisis…

Zen Educate raises $37M and acquires Aquinas Education as it tries to address the teacher shortage

“When I heard the released demo, I was shocked, angered and in disbelief that Mr. Altman would pursue a voice that sounded so eerily similar to mine.”

Scarlett Johansson says that OpenAI approached her to use her voice

A new self-driving truck — manufactured by Volvo and loaded with autonomous vehicle tech developed by Aurora Innovation — could be on public highways as early as this summer.  The…

Aurora and Volvo unveil self-driving truck designed for a driverless future

The European venture capital firm raised its fourth fund as fund as climate tech “comes of age.”

ETF Partners raises €284M for climate startups that will be effective quickly — not 20 years down the road

Copilot, Microsoft’s brand of generative AI, will soon be far more deeply integrated into the Windows 11 experience.

Microsoft wants to make Windows an AI operating system, launches Copilot+ PCs

Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch Space. For those who haven’t heard, the first crewed launch of Boeing’s Starliner capsule has been pushed back yet again to no earlier than…

TechCrunch Space: Star(side)liner

When I attended Automate in Chicago a few weeks back, multiple people thanked me for TechCrunch’s semi-regular robotics job report. It’s always edifying to get that feedback in person. While…

These 81 robotics companies are hiring

The top vehicle safety regulator in the U.S. has launched a formal probe into an April crash involving the all-electric VinFast VF8 SUV that claimed the lives of a family…

VinFast crash that killed family of four now under federal investigation

When putting a video portal in a public park in the middle of New York City, some inappropriate behavior will likely occur. The Portal, the vision of Lithuanian artist and…

NYC-Dublin real-time video portal reopens with some fixes to prevent inappropriate behavior

Longtime New York-based seed investor, Contour Venture Partners, is making progress on its latest flagship fund after lowering its target. The firm closed on $42 million, raised from 64 backers,…

Contour Venture Partners, an early investor in Datadog and Movable Ink, lowers the target for its fifth fund

Meta’s Oversight Board has now extended its scope to include the company’s newest platform, Instagram Threads, and has begun hearing cases from Threads.

Meta’s Oversight Board takes its first Threads case

The company says it’s refocusing and prioritizing fewer initiatives that will have the biggest impact on customers and add value to the business.

SeekOut, a recruiting startup last valued at $1.2 billion, lays off 30% of its workforce

The U.K.’s self-proclaimed “world-leading” regulations for self-driving cars are now official, after the Automated Vehicles (AV) Act received royal assent — the final rubber stamp any legislation must go through…

UK’s autonomous vehicle legislation becomes law, paving the way for first driverless cars by 2026

ChatGPT, OpenAI’s text-generating AI chatbot, has taken the world by storm. What started as a tool to hyper-charge productivity through writing essays and code with short text prompts has evolved…

ChatGPT: Everything you need to know about the AI-powered chatbot

SoLo Funds CEO Travis Holoway: “Regulators seem driven by press releases when they should be motivated by true consumer protection and empowering equitable solutions.”

Fintech lender SoLo Funds is being sued again by the government over its lending practices

Hard tech startups generate a lot of buzz, but there’s a growing cohort of companies building digital tools squarely focused on making hard tech development faster, more efficient and —…

Rollup wants to be the hardware engineer’s workhorse

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is not just about groundbreaking innovations, insightful panels, and visionary speakers — it’s also about listening to YOU, the audience, and what you feel is top of…

Disrupt Audience Choice vote closes Friday

Google says the new SDK would help Google expand on its core mission of connecting the right audience to the right content at the right time.

Google is launching a new Android feature to drive users back into their installed apps

Jolla has taken the official wraps off the first version of its personal server-based AI assistant in the making. The reborn startup is building a privacy-focused AI device — aka…

Jolla debuts privacy-focused AI hardware

The ChatGPT mobile app’s net revenue first jumped 22% on the day of the GPT-4o launch and continued to grow in the following days.

ChatGPT’s mobile app revenue saw its biggest spike yet following GPT-4o launch

Dating app maker Bumble has acquired Geneva, an online platform built around forming real-world groups and clubs. The company said that the deal is designed to help it expand its…

Bumble buys community building app Geneva to expand further into friendships

CyberArk — one of the army of larger security companies founded out of Israel — is acquiring Venafi, a specialist in machine identity, for $1.54 billion. 

CyberArk snaps up Venafi for $1.54B to ramp up in machine-to-machine security

Founder-market fit is one of the most crucial factors in a startup’s success, and operators (someone involved in the day-to-day operations of a startup) turned founders have an almost unfair advantage…

OpenseedVC, which backs operators in Africa and Europe starting their companies, reaches first close of $10M fund

A Singapore High Court has effectively approved Pine Labs’ request to shift its operations to India.

Pine Labs gets Singapore court approval to shift base to India

The AI Safety Institute, a U.K. body that aims to assess and address risks in AI platforms, has said it will open a second location in San Francisco. 

UK opens office in San Francisco to tackle AI risk

Companies are always looking for an edge, and searching for ways to encourage their employees to innovate. One way to do that is by running an internal hackathon around a…

Why companies are turning to internal hackathons

Featured Article

I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Women in tech still face a shocking level of mistreatment at work. Melinda French Gates is one of the few working to change that.

2 days ago
I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s  broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Blue Origin has successfully completed its NS-25 mission, resuming crewed flights for the first time in nearly two years. The mission brought six tourist crew members to the edge of…

Blue Origin successfully launches its first crewed mission since 2022

Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the top entertainment and sports talent agencies, is hoping to be at the forefront of AI protection services for celebrities in Hollywood. With many…

Hollywood agency CAA aims to help stars manage their own AI likenesses