Gracenote Acquires Australian Metadata Provider HWW for $19 Million

Another day, another Gracenote acquisition. The Tribune-owned entertainment information company has bought yet another metadata provider — this time Australia’s HWW for $19 million USD. The purchase is designed to extend Gracenote’s reach into an international while also providing it with ever-more TV and movie data to feed back into its database.

HWW is a 40-year old company that has a large number of customers in the Australian market, providing metadata and channel data to TV providers like Foxtel and Telstra, as well as international consumer electronics companies like Samsung. The company has a database of millions of TV programs and movies, as well as guide data for 700 channels.

For Gracenote, mo’ data is mo’ better, and having Aussie-specific metadata will help support its broader international business. Meanwhile, it gets the added benefit of customers in the Australian market that it just didn’t reach before.

If that sounds familiar, it should be — after all, Tribune and Gracenote have been rolling up companies in the metadata and entertainment information business over the last nine months. That started with Tribune’s acquisition of Gracenote from Sony earlier this year, and its integration with the company’s Tribune Media Services metadata business.

Its acquisition spree has continued over recent months with the purchase of Indian metadata provider What’s-On and Los Angeles-based film and TV data provider Baseline.

The bigger picture is that Gracenote is increasingly becoming an international powerhouse. With the latest acquisition, Gracenote will be providing TV listings and movie metadata in more than 55 countries and across six of seven continents.

According to CEO John Batter, who just joined the company last month, Gracenote’s goal over the next year is to build out its international presence. Whether that means building out its presence or acquiring a competitor will generally be decided on a market-by-market basis.

WW’s 25 employees will join Gracenote and continue to operate as a sort of regional headquarters in Sydney. At the same time, being part of a larger organization with a huge data set and ability to serve multiple channels gives regional players an upper hand, particularly as they look to win over new customers and upsell existing customers.