IBM has acquired video streaming service Upstream in a bid to boost its cloud services as a platform for digital video services.
The purchase is part of a move to bolster IBM's Cloud Video Services division, which was formed from the company’s research and development labs and other acquisitions.
The division will offer a portfolio of services with tools to facilitate digital and visual analytics, open API development and simplified management of video streaming delivery.
IBM claimed that the division will allow the firm to target the cloud-based video streaming software and services market, which is estimated to be worth a hefty $105bn.
Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president at IBM Cloud, outlined Big Blue’s ambitions for the video streaming market, saying that 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," he added.
IBM will also integrate Upstream’s development platform that allows clients to create apps to run video on any device and embed video into other applications, such as IBM's Bluemix cloud development platform.
IBM is continuing its dual approach to providing cloud services, offering straightforward services on one hand while opening APIs and development tools to allow software and app makers to build on the core service.
The company did not disclose how much it paid for Upstream, but Fortune reported a figure of $130m.
The IBM Cloud is already a global service, providing infrastructure, software and platform-as-a-service, but the addition of video services is indicative of the firm’s plans to expand the breadth of functions and capabilities.
Rather than simply buying companies as a reaction to market trends and competitor activity, the acquisition of Upstream, along with Cleversafe and ClearLeap, among others, is clearly part of a larger plan to boost its cloud offerings.
The strategy is not surprising, given that IBM reported earnings of over $10bn from its cloud operations in 2015.
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