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Nielsen completes Gracenote acquisition

Global performance management company Nielsen has completed its $560 million (€539.5m) acquisition of media and entertainment metadata provider Gracenote from the Tribune Media Company.

The acquisition of Gracenote’s global database and technology solutions – which span across platforms including multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), smart televisions, streaming music services, connected devices, media players and in-car infotainment systems – significantly expands Nielsen’s footprint with major clients.

The acquisition gives Nielsen access to the Gracenote data and technology that underpins the programming guides and personalised user experience around the consumption of video, music, and sports content. Gracenote provides reference information for over 12 million movie and television listings and 200 million music tracks, driving the interfaces of the major streaming digital media services, as well as the infotainment systems in over 75 million automobiles.

Acquiring Gracenote, Nielsen furthers its ability to provide clients with deeper analytics on consumer behaviour and insights on audience engagement from discovery to consumption. As part of the Nielsen Total Audience measurement framework, Gracenote’s intelligent metadata will provide clients’ with greater automation for capturing content across platforms and additional resources to demonstrate consumer engagement.  The inclusion of this data will also allow media companies to optimise their content for specific audiences, meeting clients’ needs in an addressable world where marketers reach customers and optimise campaigns in real time.

“Bringing Gracenote under the Nielsen umbrella creates an industry-leading media discovery, metadata and measurement business strongly positioned as the market shifts to greater personalization,” said Karthik Rao, President of Expanded Verticals at Nielsen. “This acquisition combines Nielsen’s audience measurement and analytics with Gracenote’s data and technology, providing clients with deeper resources to capture consumer engagement across the evolving content ecosystem.”

“We’re excited to join the Nielsen family and look forward to leveraging the combined data expertise of both organisations to deliver new innovations to our clients and more engaging experiences to the millions of fans and viewers who connect with and discover TV shows, sports, movies and music they love through Gracenote-powered platforms,” said Gracenote CEO John Batter in a statement.

Gracenote will operate as a business unit within Nielsen’s Watch segment. As previously announced, Nielsen expects the acquisition of Gracenote to be neutral to 2017 GAAP EPS and slightly accretive in 2018. Gracenote was not included in Nielsen’s 2017 outlook provided on December 8, 2016 at our Analyst Day.  Nielsen will provide more details on the expected impact of Gracenote when it reports results for the fourth quarter of 2016 on February 9th.

Going forward, the company will be referred to as ‘Gracenote, a Nielsen company’. The company will continue to operate from its headquarters in Emeryville, CA.

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