Tribune acquires Gracenote from Sony for one big smart media data stream

Dec 23, 2013
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Two major sources for technology that organizes and mades sense of your media have, this week, combined into a single entity. What’s happening here is a transaction between Tribune Company and Sony Corporation of America in which the former will acquire “the global leader in music technology and metadata” from the latter: Gracenote. This data will be added to Tribune Media Services, making this one entity into “one of the largest entertainment metadata companies in the world.”

Metadata is what groups like Apple and Amazon use to understand what you like, and offer you more of it. Gracenote works with music while Tribune Media Services works with movies - until now, that is. We’ve seen Gracenote work with second-screen movie software as well as personalized ads for TV in the past - this deal appears to center, instead, on their music content.

”Together we will become an even greater force in the global entertainment data business by servicing new and existing customers with better data, new products, and new services to help an evolving entertainment industry.” - Shashi Seth, President of Tribune Digital Ventures, which includes oversight of TMS

Gracenote is responsible for the Genius recommendations of songs in iTunes as well as the smart selection of songs in iTunes Radio. Gracenote also provides the technology Amazon uses to identify music tracks so that they can then be streamed through the cloud.

Tribune Media Services works with Virgin Media, TiVo, LG televisions, and Canella Response Television, LLC. They also work with nielsen for advanced analytics.

This particular purchase will include the transfer of all shares of Gracenote, Inc. for a cool $170 million USD. This transaction is currently expected to close inside the first quarter of 2014.


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