Nielsen, one of the world’s biggest user insight companies, are in talks to purchase Gracenote for their technology, in particular their advanced content recognition software.

Nielsen, one of the world’s leading analytics companies for user insights of media, are reportedly looking to purchase Gracenote. Multiple sources apparently revealed to Variety that the companies were in talks for a deal potentially costing $450 – $500 million.

Nielsen’s main focus for the purchase would be in Gracenote’s automatic content recognition technology. Gracenote’s technology has been integrated into many new big brand TVs to recognise the content being watched using video fingerprints. With this information Nielsen could easily measure trend and popularity of films and TV, particularly on video streaming services like Netflix and Amazon video.

Gracenote developed the technology for use in smartphones but have since integrated it into multiple TV sets. This would be a first for Nielsen’s analytics as they would have direct access to the content that is being watched rather than acquiring the data from individual services and broadcasters. Whilst this would be great for Nielsen it might not be possible for them to do due to deals between Gracenote, TV manufacturers and video streaming services.

Gracenote is currently owned by Tribune Media after they purchased the company from sony in 2013 for $170 million. It found it’s beginnings 18 years ago as a database for the metadata on CDs and has since grown into more sophisticated audio and video services including TV guide data and recommendations for video and music. The US company now has it’s reach worldwide.

Discussion of the deal hasn’t been confirmed by either company but the sources close to the deal said that we could see an announcement as early as this month.