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Gracenote, Inc.

Formerly called

Compact Disc
Compact Disc
Data Base (1998-2000)

Type

Subsidiary

Founded October 5, 1998; 19 years ago (1998-10-05)[1]

Headquarters Emeryville, California, United States

Products

Music Data Video Data Sports Data Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) Technology Digital Video Fingerprinting Acoustic Fingerprinting

Revenue $98.76 million (2014)[2]

Number of employees

1,700+ (2016)

Parent Nielsen

Website www.gracenote.com

Gracenote, Inc. provides music, video and sports metadata and automatic content recognition (ACR) technologies to entertainment services and companies, worldwide.[3] Gracenote's music recognition technologies compare digital music files to a worldwide database of music information, enabling digital audio devices to identify songs. The company licenses its technologies to developers of consumer electronics devices and online media players, who integrate the technologies into media players, home and car stereos, and digital music devices.[2] The company operates five businesses: Music, Video, Sports, Automotive and Video Personalization. Headquartered in Emeryville, California, the company employs approximately 1,700 people in 20 offices around the world. Gracenote
Gracenote
is now a Nielsen company. Gracenote
Gracenote
is best known for MusicID, a music recognition software which identifies compact discs and delivers artist metadata and cover art to the desktop. The Gracenote
Gracenote
database includes music genre and mood information, TV show descriptions, episode information and channel line-ups, movie cast and crew information and sports statistics and results. Companies including music services, TV providers, consumer electronics manufacturers and automakers use Gracenote
Gracenote
data to power their content, universal search, navigation, linking, discovery and personalized recommendations abilities. Formerly CDDB ( Compact Disc
Compact Disc
Data Base), Gracenote
Gracenote
maintains and licenses an Internet-accessible database containing information about the contents of audio compact discs and vinyl records. It provides software and metadata to businesses which enables their customers to manage and search digital media. Gracenote
Gracenote
provides its media management technology and global media database of digital entertainment information to the mobile, automobile, portable, home, and PC markets. Several software applications which were capable of playing CDs (i.e.; Media Go
Media Go
and iTunes,) used Gracenote's CDDB technology. Winamp, once a major licensee, no longer has access to Gracenote; the legacy media player program lost access to Gracenote when SHOUTcast
SHOUTcast
and Winamp
Winamp
were sold by AOL in 2014.[4] Redevelopment of Winamp
Winamp
continues by its new owner Radionomy
Radionomy
who have said future Winamp
Winamp
versions will have access to an online music database.[5] In 2014 Tribune Media
Tribune Media
Company bought Gracenote
Gracenote
from Sony
Sony
Corporation of America.[2] In December 2016, Tribune announced that it had reached an agreement to sell Gracenote
Gracenote
to Nielsen Holdings, PLC. for $560 million.[6] The purchase was completed on February 1, 2017.

Contents

1 History 2 Products 3 Customers 4 Controversy 5 See also 6 Notes and references 7 External links

History[edit] Gracenote
Gracenote
began in 1993 as an open-source project involving a CD player program named xmcd and an associated database named CDDB. xmcd and CDDB were created by Ti Kan and Steve Scherf. Because CDs do not contain any digitally-encoded information about their contents, Kan and Scherf devised a technology which identifies and looks up CDs based on TOC information stored at the beginning of each disc. A TOC, or Table of Contents, is a list of offsets corresponding to the start of each track on a CD. Its original database was created from and continues to receive voluntary contributions from users. This led to a licensing controversy when Gracenote
Gracenote
became commercialized. On April 22, 2008, Sony
Sony
announced that it would acquire Gracenote
Gracenote
for $260 million.[7] The acquisition was completed on June 2, 2008.[8] On September 9, 2010 Gracenote
Gracenote
received its one billionth piece of data, with a submission about the Compact Disc
Compact Disc
release of Swans' My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky.[9] On December 23, 2013, Sony
Sony
announced it would sell Gracenote
Gracenote
to Tribune Media
Tribune Media
for $170 million. The acquisition closed in February 2014: Gracenote
Gracenote
was aligned with the Tribune Media
Tribune Media
Services division which focused on TV and Movie metadata and IDs.[10][11] On June 12, 2014, Tribune Media
Tribune Media
Services merged with Gracenote
Gracenote
to form one company under the Gracenote
Gracenote
name.[12] On July 9, 2014, Tribune Media
Tribune Media
Company purchased What’s-ON, a provider of TV data and advanced search offerings covering India and the Middle East for $27 million. This acquisition expanded Gracenote’s international video data footprint and brought key recommendation technology into its IP portfolio.[13] On September 3, 2014, Gracenote
Gracenote
acquired Baseline, a Los-Angeles based provider of film and TV data and information. Baseline had previously been owned by the NY Times from 2006-2011 after which it was sold back to its original owners. This $50 million purchase deepened Gracenote’s existing video datasets and added the Studio System database, a subscription-based resource for the Hollywood content creation and distribution communities, to its line-up of offerings.[14] On October 2, 2014, Gracenote
Gracenote
purchased Australia-based TV and movie data company HWW for $19 million US to expand its Asia Pacific presence and international offerings.[15] On May 28, 2015, Gracenote
Gracenote
launched a new Sports vertical based on the $54 million acquisitions of Amsterdam-based Infostrada Sports and Halifax-based SportsDirect. This enabled the company to become a major provider of music, video and sports data on a global scale.[16] On December 20, 2016, Tribune Media
Tribune Media
announced that it was selling Gracenote
Gracenote
to the Nielsen Company for $540 million in cash.[17] The deal officially closed on February 1, 2017.[18].In September 2017, Gracenote
Gracenote
partnered with Connekt and Ensequence to deliver real-time offers on smart TVs.[19] Products[edit] With the acquisition by Tribune Media
Tribune Media
in 2014 and subsequent acquisitions of What’s-ON, HWW, Baseline, SportsDirect, and Infostrada Sports, Gracenote
Gracenote
has expanded its core data product beyond Music into Video and Sports. Gracenote's early product line-up consisted of MusicID, Mobile MusicID, Music Enrichment, Discover, Playlist, Playlist Plus, Media VOCS, Classical Music Initiative, and Link. In April 2007, Gracenote launched the first[20] legal lyrics offering in the U.S. that was sold to LyricFind in 2013. Gracenote’s current Music offerings fall into three major categories: Music Recognition, Music Data and Music Discovery. Its Music Recognition product called MusicID® was originally developed as a CD track-identification system. Gracenote
Gracenote
also operates a digital file identification service which uses audio fingerprinting technology to identify digital music files such as MP3s and deliver track level metadata, album art and links to complementary content and services. Its Music Data offering provides information describing Genre, Mood, Era, Origin and Tempo for tens of millions of songs. Its Music Discovery product called Rhythm™ delivers solutions enabling personalized playlist and radio station creation.[21][22] Gracenote
Gracenote
Auto puts Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) technology into the car’s audio system to identify music playing from various sources including AM/FM and satellite radio, CDs or streaming services and deliver relevant metadata and cover art. In December 2015, Gracenote
Gracenote
launched its first audio technology, Gracenote
Gracenote
Dynamic EQ, designed to help automakers and OEMs automatically tune connected car audio systems to the optimal equalizer settings for individual songs based on genre, mood and release date.[23] Gracenote’s Video platform called On Entertainment™ consists of TV listings and schedules for approximately 85 countries and 35 languages as well as TV and Movie data and related-imagery information for six million TV shows and movies. On Entertainment is supported by standardized TMS IDs for TV shows, movies and celebrities. These IDs enable universal search across linear TV, OTT and VOD libraries and make possible “season pass” DVR recordings. Gracenote
Gracenote
Sports provides live scores, play-by-play data, historical results and records, schedules, player profiles and athlete biographies for 4,500 leagues and competitions such as the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, Premier League, F1, Bundesliga, Tour de France, Wimbledon and the Olympics. Gracenote’s Podium product tracks all Olympic competition results and rankings at elite and junior levels as well as historical Olympic data going back to the very first modern games in 1896. In September 2015, the company announced DVR Extend which enables TV providers to dynamically adjust DVR settings to ensure live sports game recordings don’t get cut off in the event they go past scheduled broadcast times.[24] Customers[edit] iTunes, Media Go
Media Go
and Sonicstage
Sonicstage
all use Gracenote's CD track identification services.[25][26][27] In addition, Gracenote
Gracenote
provides its products to a number of other services, including

Online services from Yahoo! Music Jukebox, AOL, AmazonMP3, Spotify, Winamp, MetroLyrics, Pandora, Google Music,[28] and Tuneup Media; Home and automotive products from Alpine, Bose, Panasonic, Philips, Loewe, and Sony; Mobile music applications from Samsung,[29] Sony
Sony
Mobile Communication (TrackID),[30] KDDI (Japan), KTF (Korea), Musicwave (Europe). Popular Lyrics website LyricWikia

Controversy[edit] Main article: Gracenote
Gracenote
licensing controversy In 1998, CDDB was purchased by Escient, a consumer electronics manufacturer, and operated as a business unit within the Indiana-based company. CDDB was then spun out of Escient and in July 2000 was renamed Gracenote. The CDDB database license was later changed to include new terms. For instance, any programs using a CDDB lookup had to display a CDDB logo while performing the lookup. Then, in March 2001, only licensed applications were provided access to the Gracenote database. New licenses for CDDB1 (the original version of CDDB) were no longer available, so programmers using Gracenote
Gracenote
services were required to switch to CDDB2 (a new version incompatible with CDDB1). This has been controversial, as the original CDDB database was created out of anonymous contributions, initially via the Open Source
Open Source
xmcd CD player program. Many listing contributors believed that the database was open-source as well, because in 1997, cddb.com's download and support pages had said it was released under the GPL. CDDB claims that license grant was an error. See also[edit]

List of online music databases Automatic content recognition

Notes and references[edit]

^ "CDDB.com WHOIS, DNS, & Domain Info - DomainTools". WHOIS. Retrieved 2016-03-26.  ^ a b c "Gracenot, Inc. Company profile". Hoover’s.  ^ "Gracenote, Inc. Private Company Information". Businessweek. Bloomberg L.P.  ^ " Winamp
Winamp
& SHOUTcast
SHOUTcast
Forums - View Single Post - CDDB problems ( Gracenote
Gracenote
Services No Longer Work In Winamp: Reason Why Explained)". forums.winamp.com. Retrieved 2017-01-12.  ^ Winamp
Winamp
Official Forum ^ Lieberman, David (December 20, 2016). " Tribune Media
Tribune Media
Agrees To Sell Gracenote
Gracenote
Data Services To Nielsen For $560M". Deadline.com. Pensky Media.  ^ Gracenote
Gracenote
News: Sony Corporation of America
Sony Corporation of America
to Acquire Gracenote Archived June 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. ^ Sony Corporation of America
Sony Corporation of America
Completes Gracenote
Gracenote
Acquisition Archived May 16, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. ^ Cohen, Noam (2010-10-03). "Obsessions With Minutiae Thrive as Databases". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-04.  ^ "Tribune Closes $170 Mil Cash Deal to Acquire Sony's Gracenote". Variety. Retrieved 31 January 2015.  ^ "Tribune Buys Gracenote
Gracenote
From Sony". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 31 January 2015.  ^ Michelle Clancy. "Tribune to merge Media Services into Gracenote operations". Rapid TV News. Retrieved 5 June 2015.  ^ Lawler, Ryan; Contributor. "Tribune Digital Ventures Acquires Indian Electronic Program Guide Provider What's On". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2016-04-06.  ^ Spangler, Todd. "Tribune Media's Gracenote
Gracenote
Acquires Baseline for $50 Million Cash". Variety. Retrieved 2016-04-06.  ^ " Gracenote
Gracenote
targets Australia with $19M buy-up of TV & movie data provider HWW". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2016-04-06.  ^ " Gracenote
Gracenote
Puts Up $54M for Two Sports Data Firms". www.multichannel.com. Retrieved 2016-04-06.  ^ "Nielsen will acquire Tribune-owned Gracenote
Gracenote
for $560M". www.techcrunch.com. Retrieved 2016-12-20.  ^ "Nielsen Completes Acquisition of Gracenote". Nielsen Press Release. February 1, 2017.  ^ O'Halloran, Joseph. " Gracenote
Gracenote
teams with Connekt, Ensequence to deliver real-time offers on smart TVs". Rapid TV News. Retrieved 2017-10-17.  ^ " MetroLyrics get Authorized". techvibes.com. Retrieved 5 June 2015.  ^ " Gracenote
Gracenote
unveils new Internet radio technology". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 January 2014.  ^ " Gracenote
Gracenote
to Help Launch Music Services". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 5 January 2014.  ^ "Gracenote's Dynamic EQ Automatically Tunes Car Stereo Systems One Song At A Time". Forbes. Retrieved 2016-04-06.  ^ "Gracenote: DVRs To Extend Record Time If Sports Game Goes Into Overtime". www.twice.com. Retrieved 2016-04-06.  ^ "How iTunes remembers audio CDs". iTunes KB.  ^ " Gracenote
Gracenote
Security Update June 27th, 2006". Archived from the original on 2010-01-24. Affected Products: Sony
Sony
CONNECT Player, Sony SonicStage Ver.3.3/3.4, Sony
Sony
SonicStage Mastering Studio Ver.2.1/2.2  ^ "Local Music Files". Spotify. Thanks to our collaboration with the good people at Gracenote®, your MP3s can be made whole again.  ^ "Google Play Legal Information". google.com. Retrieved 5 June 2015.  ^ For more information, see Samsung Music Center: Samsung Multimedia Manager ^ "Official: Sony
Sony
and Ericsson are divorced". theregister.co.uk. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 

External links[edit]

Gracenote
Gracenote
– official site Sequoia Capital provides venture capital funding to Gracenote Gracenote
Gracenote
Defends Its Evolution – an interview of Steve Scherf by Wired Magazine History of Gracenote
Gracenote
Article discussed at Slashdot

v t e

Nielsen Holdings

Units

Nielsen Consumer Nielsen Media Research Nielsen Online Nielsen Mobile Nielsen Business Media Gracenote

Services

Nielsen BookScan Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems Nielsen SoundScan

.