Sony sells music streaming service Gracenote to Tribune

GracenoteTribune Company has entered into an agreement with Sony Corporation of America to purchase Gracenote for $170 million. Gracenote is a service that matches and streams music across multiple devices.

According to a press release the sale should close before March 31.

Sony had announced its acquisition of Gracenote in 2008. Sony on Monday estimated that the company would book a gain of about $60 million when the sale is complete.

The purchase could help the Tribune Co. strength its stand against digital entertainment rival Rovi.

Gracenote is a leader in music "metadata" enabling online music services, as well as smartphones and tablets, to recognize and describe musical works.

The sale comes soon after Xbox Music announced it was using Gracenote to compliment its service. Xbox Music subscribers can listen to their music across multiple platforms and edit metadata for albums via Gracenote. Gracenote also has been used in TVs and cars.

Tribune plans to combine Gracenote with its Tribune Media Services, which provides television and movie metadata.

The tribune said, "Gracenote is the industry standard for music recognition technology and its database gets 550 million look-ups each day and more than 16 billion every month, making it the most trafficked music data source on the planet."