Gracenote, which initially supplied TV and movie listings to smart TV providers, later licensed its recommendation engine to media owners, who used it to suggest movies, genres or playlists to consumers.
After Tribune bought it from Sony for $170 million, one of Gracenote's main focuses was supplying program viewership info to broadcasters.
In 2013, Gracenote started deepening its ad decisioning capabilities, allowing broadcasters to perform ad replacement or to swap in addressable ads to smart TV users based on demographic and viewership data.
Nielsen’s intent to acquire Gracenote comes just a week after NBC's ad sales chief, Linda Yaccarino, sent a memo to Nielsen execs, saying Nielsen relies too much on panel-based measurements for digital and on-demand environments.
Yaccarino also argued that major pay TV and digital video providers aren’t in Nielsen’s measurement mix.
“The whole industry eagerly awaits total audience data … TCR [Total Content Ratings] is far from meeting these requirements,” Yaccarino wrote.
Gracenote at least strengthens Nielsen’s position around cross-screen viewing data.