IBM Buys The Weather Company's Digital Assets
IBM announced plans to acquire the digital assets of The Weather Company to provide clients with weather data that can drive business decisions.LAS VEGAS—IBM signed a definitive agreement to acquire The Weather Company's B2B, mobile and cloud-based Web properties, including WSI, Weather.com, Weather Underground and The Weather Company brand. The news of the acquisition played heavily at the IBM Insight 2015 conference here, where IBM made a series of announcements with The Weather Company, including plans to build a set of new IBM Cloud Insight Services with the company and hosting a two-hour segment of the Weather Underground TV show on-site at the Insight conference. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, 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 combination of technology and expertise from the two companies will serve as the foundation for the new Watson Internet of Things (IoT) unit and Watson IoT cloud platform, building on a $3 billion commitment IBM made in March 2015 to invest in related offerings and services. The planned acquisition would bring together IBM's cognitive and analytics platform and The Weather Company's dynamic 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 enable IBM to collect an even 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.
"Just imagine what can happen when you bring a great B2B business and a great B2C business together," Bryson Koehler, chief information and technology officer at The Weather Company, told eWEEK. With The Weather Channel's app so prevalent with consumers, adding IBM's analytics and cognitive tools to the mix will only serve to keep consumers and citizens better informed.