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Sony to acquire Gracenote

updated 07:45 pm EDT, Tue April 22, 2008

Sony Gracnote

Sony Corporation of America has signed a merger agreement with Gracenote, Inc, and will pay approximately $260 million plus other contingent consideration for the digital media information warehouse. Formerly known as CDDB, Gracenote delivers information -- including lyrics -- on music to various services including Apple iTunes and Yahoo! Music Jukebox. The companies say that Gracenote's existing business will continue to operate separately as a wholly owned Sony subsidiary, and that the senior management team will remain with the company.

"Gracenote is a global leader in technology and services for digital media identification, enrichment, and recommendation, and these capabilities will be essential to the next wave of innovation in content, services, and consumer electronics," said Tim Schaaff, Sony's Senior Vice President, Software. "Sony sees tremendous growth potential in developing Gracenote as a separately run business unit, and by broadly embracing Gracenote's platforms, Sony expects to significantly enhance and accelerate its own digital content, service, and device initiatives."




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. VValdo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Hmmm.

    "Gracenote is a global leader in technology and services for digital media identification"

    Everyone knows about Gracenote's interesting history, don't they? I myself use freedb.

    The Internet does not forget.

    W

  1. chas_m

    Joined:

    0

    Stolen

    Gracenote uses the stolen labour of thousands (if not millions) of contributors who thought they were contributing to a public resource, not a private group of sellouts.

    By my reckoning, I'm owed about $1000 of that money, and I'll bet most of you reading this are too.

  1. John Lockwood

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Apple goof again

    This is the second time this year that Apple have allowed a competitor to buy a company Apple rely on as part of their iTunes eco-system.

    Last time it was Amazon buying Audible.com

    Apple can hardly argue they could not afford to buy either (or both) Gracenote and Audible.com.

    I suppose in this case Apple potentially has two escape routes should Sony play hard-ball.

    1. Possibly use the Freedb.org alternative to Gracenote (I just checked the licensing terms and commercial use is allowed).

    2. Use the iTunes store as the database but it will be nowhere near as big a database since it only includes commercially available tracks. (To start with that also means no Beatles tracks.)

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Benefits...

    ...There are no benefits to Apple in having purchased either Audible or Gracenote - Gracenote's history doesn't help there, either. The same argument could be made for Yahoo, which Apple uses in iPhone and other services, should MS end up purchasing them.

    EIther way, no matter what happens - first of all, Apple will certainly have considered all of that beforehand, and most likely has an alternative for each and every resource.

    Either Apple goes with an alternative (freedb comes to mind), or should that become problematic, can always reinvent the wheel and roll their own - which will most likely be better than both combined, when it comes to fruition.

    Apple chooses the path of least (initial) resistance, and only will pick alternatives once there are problems.

    Lastly, Apple gains no discernible benefit from a Gracenote purchase -- what's the benefit to SONY?

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    sony's benefit?

    Remember that Sony happens to own a significant record label and a database that is used to identify the tracks on legally owned CD's being ripped to MP3 or AAC would be a useful tool for the future. Has everybody forgotten the rootkit already? This is not good news!

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    amg

    apple should drop gracenote and start using amg.

    i do not want sony/gracenote spying on me.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    sony spying

    "i do not want sony/gracenote spying on me."

    I agree. This is frightening.

    Sony is the company that released the rootkit!

    I hope Apple switches to something else soon.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    sony spying

    "i do not want sony/gracenote spying on me."

    I agree. This is frightening.

    Sony is the company that released the rootkit!

    I hope Apple switches to something else soon.

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