It has been reported that Sony has agreed to acquire Gracenote for approx $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. It is reported that Gracenote will continue to operate separately from Sony after the deal closes, but I still think this is a bit of a major blow to other major labels. Gracenote has technology that is leading the industry and now allows Sony to produce more tech startups in the music industry without having to worry about music recognition.