IBM Cloud Video

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(Redirected from Ustream)
IBM Watson Media
Type of site
Video streaming
Available inEnglish, German, Hungarian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish and Korean
LaunchedMarch 2007; 16 years ago (2007-03)
Current statusActive
Native client(s) oniOS, Android

IBM Watson Media (formerly Ustream and IBM Cloud Video) is an American virtual events platform company which is a division of IBM. Prior to the IBM acquisition, it had more than 180 employees across San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Budapest offices. Ustream had received $11.1 million in Series A funding for new product development from Doll Capital Management (DCM) and investors Labrador Ventures and Band of Angels.[1]

Since 2016, it has been a division of IBM. On April 1, 2018, two years after its purchase, Ustream changed its name to IBM Cloud Video to reflect its new ownership, but rapidly changed that name to IBM Watson Media to reflect the embedded artificial intelligence capabilities of IBM's Watson.



Ustream was born when the founders (John Ham, Brad Hunstable and Gyula Fehér) wanted a way for their friends in the US Army, who were deployed overseas in the Iraq War, to be able to communicate with their families. A product like Ustream would provide them with a way to talk to all of their relatives at once when free time in the war zone was limited.[2]

Ustream was used by politicians such as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards,[3] to video game streamers, to artists such as Kanye West, Tori Amos and the Plain White T's.[4][5] Lifecasters such as iJustine and E-TARD The LifeCaster[6] have also used Ustream. The technology community[vague] has also adopted Ustream to include Robert Scoble, Leo Laporte and Chris Pirillo.[citation needed]


Early investors included DCM Ventures and Softbank, the latter of which invested $20 million in 2010 with an option to invest additional capital.[7][8] On January 21, 2016, IBM acquired Ustream for up to $150 million.[9] It was combined with Aspera, Clearleap, and Cleversafe to form IBM's Cloud Video [IBM Watson Media] unit. IBM envisioned the use of its technology as part of an enterprise video offering.[10]

Automatic content blocking[edit]

IBM Watson Media uses a copyright enforcement service provided by Vobile, which uses a proprietary fingerprinting system to automatically detect copyrighted content.[11][12] This system has been known to generate false positives, blocking content that should fall under fair use, or which has been specifically licensed by the stream originator. In one such incident, the official livecast of the 2012 Hugo Award ceremony was terminated because it incorporated authorized clips of nominated television shows and movies, causing "a flood of livid Twitter messages". The following day, Ustream apologized for the incident and temporarily disabled automatic blocking while they adjusted the system to "better balance the needs of broadcasters, viewers, and copyright holders".[13][14]


  1. ^ Cynopsis: Digital. April 14, 2008.
  2. ^ WebWare, Merry Christmas, Mom: Ustream links soldiers with home Archived 2008-12-01 at the Wayback Machine, December 14, 2007
  3. ^ Mark 'Rizzn' Hopkins (2007-11-26). "YouTube and UStream Go Political". Mashable. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
  4. ^ Brad Hunstable, Founder (2007-11-16). "The Ustream.TV Blog » Blog Archive » Plain White T's Event Serves 130,000". Archived from the original on 2010-04-10. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
  5. ^ Vilas-boas, Eric (2010-08-09). "Kanye Hits Ustream, Talks New Album". SPIN. Retrieved 2022-09-08.
  6. ^ "E-TARD The 24/7 LifeCaster". E-TARD.TV. September 5, 2006. Archived from the original on September 17, 2012. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  7. ^ "IBM acquires Ustream". Variety. 21 January 2016.
  8. ^ "Softbank pays $20 million for stake in Ustream".
  9. ^ Konrad, Alex. "IBM Confirms Ustream Acquisition As Part Of Cloud Video [IBM Watson Media] Unit Targeting "$105 Billion Opportunity"". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-08-21.
  10. ^ "IBM Confirms Acquisition Of UStream, Forms New Cloud Video [IBM Watson Media] Unit". TechCrunch. 21 January 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  11. ^ Hunstable, Brad (2010-07-16). "Launch of Improved Measures to Protect Copyright Holders and Vobile Integration". Archived from the original on 2013-02-04. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
  12. ^ "Vobile Core Technology". Archived from the original on 2013-08-05. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
  13. ^ Ha, Anthony (September 3, 2012), "Ustream Apologizes For Shutting Down The Hugo Awards Livestream, Says It Will 'Recalibrate'", TechCrunch
  14. ^ Gross, Doug (September 4, 2012), Ustream apologizes for killing Hugo Awards webcast, CNN

External links[edit]