IBM Buys Ustream

IBM expanded its cloud video play again via the M&A path, this time snapping up Ustream, a provider of cloud-driven live video streaming services that counts HBO, the National Football League and Discovery Channel, NASA, and Facebook among its clients.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the purchase comes on the heels of IBM’s acquisition of Clearleap, a multiscreen video platform specialist based in Duluth, Ga.

San Francisco-based Ustream handles on-demand and live streams to about 80 million viewers per month, IBM said, noting that the portfolio includes Ustream Demand, Ustream Align (for secure internal employee communications), and Ustream Pro Broadcasting, its scaled live video streaming system.

Ustream will become part of its newly-formed IBM Cloud Video Services unit that combines Big  Blue’s R&D labs and its strategic acquisitions and investments, including Aspera and Cleversafe.  That unit is led by general manager Braxton Jarratt, the former CEO of Clearleap.

“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,” Robert LeBlanc, SVP of IBM Cloud, said in a statement.

“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,” added Jarratt.

IBM said 2015 revenues for its cloud business rose 57%, to $10.2 billion.

IBM’s Ustream deal again shines the spotlight on the M&A action swirling around video streaming, and follows other recent mergers, including Amazon Web Service’s buy of Elemental Technologies, Turner Broadcasting System’s takeover of iStreamPlanet.