Tribune's Gracenote Acquires Baseline For Video Info

Tribune’s Gracenote, which provides video metadata for interactive programming guides and other digital video information services for media companies and consumers, is augmenting its offerings with the acquisition of Baseline, which provides descriptive information about movies and TV programming, the companies announced Wednesday.

The $50 million acquisition will give Gracenote customers access to Baseline’s database of movie and TV information, including descriptions of 300,000 movies and TV projects, details on nearly 1.5 million TV and film professionals, and box office data for 45 regional markets around the world.

The deal also gives Gracenote control of Baseline’s The Studio System platform, a subscription service offering business intelligence data for entertainment industry professionals, including studios, talent agencies and production companies.

Baseline’s database covers a variety of categories, such as production schedules, shooting locations, project financing, cast and crew credits, talent representation, biographies and imagery. This licensed data is used in video search and discovery features, as well as “TV Everywhere apps,” maintained by satellite TV operators, on-demand movie services, Internet companies and online streaming providers like Hulu and VUDU.

In addition to expanding Gracenote’s offerings for its existing clients, including cable and satellite operators, social networks, on-demand services and consumer electronics manufacturers, the deal lays the groundwork for Gracenote to begin offering new data services targeting entertainment industry professionals.

Gracenote CEO John Batter stated: “Baseline’s deep production data coupled with its existing relationships with the studio community will help us improve the depth and breadth of the data we offer to existing Gracenote customers, as well as provide us with a foundation to build products aimed squarely at serving the entertainment industry.”

Tribune acquired Gracenote from Sony for $170 million in December 2013. Gracenote was originally focused on data for music, including online audience trends, but the platform was subsequently merged with Tribune Media Services, which provides metadata for electronic TV program guides. These acquisitions have positioned Tribune to compete with other video data services offered by competitors like Rovi, especially in the rapidly growing market for streaming and on-demand video.

Gracenote has a history in providing music and video content and technologies to U.S. entertainment products and brands, featuring descriptions of more than 180 million tracks and TV listings for 50 countries. Gracenote also has a TV data presence in Europe, while TMS is strong in North America and Latin America.

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