Tribune Co. agreed to buy Sony's Gracenote unit for $170 million, the companies said Monday.
Tribune called Gracenote the largest source of music data in the world, with meta-data for more than 180 million tracks. The data is used to organize music on smart phones and tablets and to drive streaming music services.
Gracenote will combined with Tribune Media Services, which already amasses metadata on television shows and movies, to create one of the largest entertainment metadata companies at a time when more content is being consumed on demand.
"This transaction extends and complements TMS' best-in-class core competency in the metadata business, while also deepening Tribune's slate of subscription services," Peter Liguori, Tribune president and CEO, said in a statement.
Gracenote also provides data and information for more than one million movies and TV shows in 30 million countries and holds more than 90 U.S. and foreign patents.
"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," said Shashi Seth, president of Tribune Digital Ventures, a job that includes oversight of TMS.
"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."
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, pending regulatory approvals.