Tribune Company today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Sony Corporation of America to purchase Gracenote, the global leader in music technology and metadata.  Gracenote is the largest source of music data in the world, featuring metadata for more than 180 million tracks, which helps power more than a billion smart phones and tablets, as well as the world’s most popular streaming music services.

Tribune Company will combine Gracenote with Tribune Media Services (TMS), the premier provider of television and movie metadata, creating one of the largest entertainment metadata companies in the world.

“This transaction extends and complements TMS’ best-in-class core competency in the metadata business, while also deepening Tribune’s slate of subscription services,” said Peter Liguori, Tribune Company President and Chief Executive Officer.

TMS has been the gold standard for collecting and syndicating entertainment data for years and currently reaches hundreds of millions of viewers through electronic streams of information on TV, online and in print. Gracenote is the industry standard for music recognition technology and its database gets 550 million look-ups each day and more than 16 billion every month, making it the most trafficked music data source on the planet.

Gracenote technology is featured in thousands of mobile apps and 50 million cars have been equipped with Gracenote. The company also provides data and information for one million movies and TV shows to 30 countries and holds over 90 U.S. and foreign patents.

“Gracenote and TMS are an ideal fit,” said Shashi Seth, President of Tribune Digital Ventures, which includes oversight of TMS. “Both companies have substantial digital footprints and are well-respected leaders in their areas globally. 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.”

“Given the breadth of the Tribune Company and its commitment to revolutionizing digital media, I firmly believe that we have found the right home to grow our business and realize Gracenote’s long-term vision,” said Stephen White, President of Gracenote. “The marriage of these world-class music and video data platforms, from TMS and Gracenote, will help us reimagine how people discover and connect with music, movies and TV shows across all devices.” 

Tribune is purchasing all of the shares of Gracenote, Inc., which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, for $170 million subject to standard adjustments. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, upon receipt of regulatory approvals. 

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