Sony Buys Gracenote for $260M

Sony has agreed to acquire Gracenote for about $260M.

Gracenote provides a range of music-related solutions including MusicID, which detects which song is currently being played by an application and loads track information for the user (such as artist and album names). MusicID leverages a database of over 6M CDs and 80M tracks. Its technology has been in development since 1995 (previously under the name CDDB).

Consumer music app services such as Apple iTunes, Yahoo! Music Jukebox, and Winamp use Gracenote for their music detection capabilities.

Gracenote will continue to operate separately from Sony after the deal is closed, which will probably happen in late May. Senior management will stay on.