What’s IT major IBM doing in video streaming business?

IBM Video cloud services
Enterprise IT vendor IBM has set its sights on cloud-based live video streaming services business. The size of the market opportunity is a whopping $105 billion.

Telecoms are betting big on video business.

AT&T has recently acquired DirecTV. Bharti Airtel launched music and video streaming services. Singtel offers video-on-demand service HOOQ. Verizon launched Go90. These video related investment highlights a recent significant shift in telecom network operator ambition with respect to digital content distribution, particularly related to video, according to Strategy Analytics.

As part of focusing on video business, IBM announced its deal to acquire Ustream, a San Francisco, US-based provider of cloud-based live video streaming services. IBM has already floated a new video business to focus on enterprises.

The decision to acquire Ustream is aimed at enhancing the IBM Cloud platform to help enterprise clients to monetize from video.

Ustream has a development office in Budapest, Hungary, and data centers in San Jose, Calif.; Amsterdam; and Tokyo.

Ustream 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. Internet search engines Yahoo and Google are looking at video streaming as money spinners. Facebook recently started expanding its video coverage.

Following the acquisition of Ustream, IBM Cloud Video Services will deliver video services that spans open API development, digital and visual analytics, simplified management and consistent delivery across global industries.

Braxton Jarratt, general manager of IBM, will head the video business.

The size of the cloud-based video services and software market is $105 billion, 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, senior vice president, IBM Cloud.

IBM has more than 1,000 patents in areas such as visual analytics and indexing and searching large collections of videos and digital images. IBM has also received four Emmy Awards for video related innovations.

Clients can use Ustream’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 distinct video services to developers.

Demand for video content, particularly on mobile devices, has prompted mobile operators such as AT&T, Bharti Airtel, T-Mobile USA, Singtel, and Verizon, among others, to seek a more aggressive position in digital video delivery.

“However, T-Mobile Binge On signals an alternative enablement approach, leveraging network assets to provide optimization and zero-rated access to video content streamed over its network. Either way, operators must align their content strategy with both their ambition and assets,” said Nitesh Patel, director, Wireless Media Strategies at Strategy Analytics.

IBM is currently facing pressure in the enterprise  IT market. Hope its video business will do wonders. IBM has already started getting revenues from hybrid cloud and analytics investments.

Baburajan K
[email protected]