This continues Tribune‘s campaign to become a TV and data power, as it spins off its newspaper publishing operation. The company says today that its tech arm, Tribune Digital Ventures, will buy TV By The Numbers, a source of ratings analysis and programming news. No word on financial terms, but the company will feed some of the info to its entertainment website Zap2it — which Tribune says will have “a renewed focus on helping TV fans discover programs to watch across linear TV and streaming services and providing integrated advertising opportunities designed to reach that valuable audience.” It also will make licensing deals with third-party apps and services. “Our goal is to make TV By The Numbers a must-have analytics and data resource for passionate viewers and Hollywood insiders alike,” says Tribune Digital Ventures President Shashi Seth. “Viewership numbers, audience reviews and social data are increasingly becoming reliable indicators of TV show popularity, making TV By The Numbers analysis data essential to the evolving ecosystem.” Zap2it will enable programmers to advertise to TV fans. Both camps “need an integrated TV discovery and editorial source, so we’re excited to unveil the all-new Zap2it to meet those needs,” the site’s executive director of sales, Brian Campbell, says.
Today’s announcements follow Tribune’s deal in December to pay Sony $170M for Gracenote, a firm that specializes in metadata — the kind of information that enables other services including Apple’s iTunes, Rhapsody, Spotify, and Xbox Music to recognize what song or TV show is playing. Tribune said at the time that it hoped to become one of the world’s largest entertainment metadata companies.