Softbank to bring Ustream to Asia

Nicole McCormick
19 May 2010


Japanese internet and telecom giant Softbank will bring Ustream’s live video technology to the rest of Asia.


The two companies have announced plans for an Asian joint venture which would allow users to redistribute live video captured on mobile devices over the internet.


Softbank subsidiary TV Bank will own a 60% stake in Ustream Asia, with Ustream taking 32% and US venture capital firm DCM  the remaining 8%.


San Francisco-based Ustream offers live video service, with around 100 million monthly viewers, mostly in the US.


To begin with, Ustream Asia will operate in Japan, handling live broadcasts of music concerts and sporting events, for example, reports the Nikkei. Advertisements will screen through such services, it says.


There are plans for expansion in South Korean, Chinese and Indian markets, said the Nikkei.


Ustream launched the Japanese version of its site last month, and according to Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of Softbank, “the number of Ustream users is growing rapidly” in Japan.


Two Japanese Ustream applications for iPhones were unveiled yesterday:  Ustream Viewer enables people to watch live video on the iPhone, while Ustream Broadcaster allows users to stream live content from the iPhone.


Softbank invested $20 million in Ustream in February and will inject another $10 million into the Californian firm next month. 


Nicole McCormick

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