The TV segment – The Weather Channel – will not be acquired by IBM, but will license weather forecast data and analytics from IBM under a long-term contract.
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The combination of the two companies will serve as the foundation for the new Watson IoT Unit and Watson IoT Cloudplatform, building on a $3B commitment made by IBM in March 2015 to invest in related offerings and services.
The acquisition would bring together IBM’s cognitive and analytics platform and The Weather Company’s cloud data platform, which powers the fourth most-used mobile app daily in the United States and handles 26 billion inquiries to its cloud-based services each day.
The deal would extend the reach of IBM’s cloud data services capabilities and expand The Weather Company’s business capabilities and consumer reach on a global scale. The Weather Company’s cloud-based data platform will allow IBM to collect a larger variety and higher velocity of global data sets, store them, analyze them and in turn distribute them and empower richer and deeper insights across the Watson platform.
The Weather Company product and technology assets include meteorological data science experts, forecasting capabilities and a cloud platform that ingests, processes, analyzes and distributes data sets at scale in real time. The company’s models analyze data from three billion weather forecast reference points, more than 40 million smartphones and 50,000 airplane flights per day, allowing it to offer a broad range of data-driven products and services to more than 5000 clients in the media, aviation, energy, insurance and government industries. Its mobile and web properties serve 82 million unique monthly visitors.
IBM also plans to advance the company’s digital advertising platform and skills to build additional ad-sponsored consumer and business solutions.