Gracenote’s existence as a standalone brand means a lot of people forget it’s a subsidiary of Sony, which paid $260m for the company in 2008. Now the relationship may be coming to an end, with Bloomberg reporting that Sony has hired investment bank Qatalyst Partners to explore a sale of Gracenote. The report also suggests that Gracenote is in talks with private equity firms over becoming independent, based on annual revenues of $100m-$200m that would make it a sustainable business outside Sony. The report stresses that any sale or buyout has yet to be finalised, with none of the companies commenting officially beyond Sony’s comment to Billboard that the company “is constantly evaluating our operations to maximise profitability and efficiency”. Could a sale be good news for Gracenote? It may help the company attract clients with music services who might be spooked by its current status as a Sony subsidiary, although Gracenote’s deal earlier this year to provide music recognition and metadata to Microsoft’s Xbox Music shows it’s doing a decent job of overcoming such fears already.

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