Sony is acquiring digital music technology firm Gracenote for USD260m, and possibly more depending on earnings. California-based Gracenote will become a wholly-owned Sony subsidiary and will continue to operate independently, while retaining its senior management. The deal, expected to close in late May, follows Macrovision’s acquisition last year of Gracenote rival AMG.
Founded in 1995 as CDDB, Gracenote offers the technology powering digital music services including Apple’s iTunes, Winamp and Yahoo! Music Jukebox, as well as portable music devices and MP3 players. The company, which is expected to post revenues of USD40m this year, is also developing a DVD information database that will help identify copyrighted material within videos, says the Associated Press.
Other applications include a music recognition service, which detects and identifies songs being played and provides related info, and a music lyrics service offering licensed lyrics from major labels and other publishers.
Gracenote has raised five rounds of funding since its launch, according to paidContent. Investors include Sequoia Capital and Bessemer Venture Partners.