IBM Acquires Ustream: Behind the Acquisition

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In 2007, John Ham, Gyula Feher, and I started a small company called Ustream with the vision to help military service members around the world connect through the power of video.  As West Point graduates, John and I saw the unique challenges soldiers, sailors and airmen faced while deployed around the world. We teamed up with Dr. Gyula Feher to ultimately build Ustream into what it is today, a leading global video solution provider for live and on demand video.

Today I’m excited to announce the acquisition of Ustream by IBM.  This partnership was a natural choice as IBM is expanding its video portfolio offerings and Ustream has distinguished itself as a leader in video solutions for media and enterprises.

By 2017, 80% of all the world data will be video.  From programs on Netflix to videos on Facebook, this emotional medium has permeated our lives.   Businesses are becoming media companies as well, streaming everything from product launches (think Apple’s iPhone launch events), customer how-to videos, to CEO Townhalls.

IBM is in the midst of a massive transformation, placing the weight of its 400,000+ exceptional employees behind four strategic imperatives: Commerce, Analytics, Security and Cloud. For IBM, acquiring Ustream is a way to turbo-charge their Video strategy: Our technology and business model will become a foundation for the IBM Video Cloud organization to rally around the cloud. In combination with SoftLayer’s global footprint and IBM’s other global capabilities and extensive reach, I can’t think of an organization better suited to tackle this challenge.

Ustream built a world-class video product with a world-class video team.  Now, as an IBM company, we bring our technology solutions to the leader in enterprise and cloud.

I would like to extend my gratitude to Ted Wang and Kris Withrow from Fenwick & West and Mike Marquez from CODE Advisors for helping us finalize the deal.  Special thanks to Jason Kirkorian from DCM and Kahori Matsui from Softbank for believing in us and their continued support over the years.

And, of course, the most heartfelt thanks to our wonderful Ustream colleagues, current and former, who brought this vision to life.  I am truly humbled by your hard work, passion, and unwavering belief that video is the future.  

Thank you.





Brad Hunstable
Founder and CEO, Ustream