Now we have an idea what Nielsen CFO Jamere Jackson meant when he told analysts this month that the audience measurement company planned to “go aggressive” in integrating Gracenote, the entertainment database operation it just bought from Tribune Media.
The database company says today that it has standardized its ID tags to create products that broaden the results when video, music, and sports fans search for information on certain programming guides or smart devices.
That could be meaningful: Gracenote powers guides for Comcast, DirecTV, Roku, and Samsung smart TVs, as well as offerings from Apple and Spotify. It also feeds infotainment systems for 85 million cars from Tesla, Ford, BMW, Toyota and others.
“The lines that once delineated providers of TV, movies, music and other forms of digital media are blurring,” Gracenote Chief Product Officer Rich Cusick says. The new products “represent the biggest evolution in the history of our business and will help our customers dream up and deliver innovative entertainment experiences and establish new business models.”
For example, he says that the company has talked to Comcast about offering Olympics fans the ability to track a favorite competitor. “You could find every event he’s in and set a season pass for that across streaming, on-demand, and live TV.” Cusick says.
Another possibility: a cable TV viewer searching for Beyoncé could locate music tracks, her HBO visual album Lemonade, and her movie Epic. Similarly, someone interested in LeBron James might find career stats, who’s broadcasting the next Cleveland Cavaliers game, highlights from a previous game, a clip from his interview on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and his 2015 movie Trainwreck.
Up to now “you could get a lot of the information, but it was hard,” Cusick says. “And three years ago you couldn’t do any of it.”
Gracenote has a lot of material at its disposal. Its Global Video Data product taps program and movie information– including national and local listings — from more than 85 countries.
The company boasts that its Global Music Data product offers “the world’s largest music database spanning international music genres optimized for streaming catalogs.”
And its Global Sports Data product can blend live scores, game highlights, player profiles, and statistics with TV schedules.
Nielsen paid Tribune $560 million for Gracenote on February 1. The TV station owner paid Sony $170 million for the database operation in 2014 and added to the business, including with a $50 million deal that year for Baseline’s info about film and television productions.