Tribune CEO Peter Liguori Talks Up Gracenote at Investor Conference

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Tribune Media CEO Peter Liguori

Gracenote, used by several clients in television and music, can identify 200 million songs, each in less than a tenth of a second, the exec said.

At a Wall Street conference on Wednesday, Tribune Media CEO Peter Liguori wasn't asked about a dispute with Dish Network that escalated the day before, choosing instead to talk up Gracenote, the company's metadata service for identifying and recommending music and TV shows to consumers.

"Gracenote is currently in 75 million connected cars," said Liguori. "We can give you a fantastic service and, I dare say, in a weird way, better than Sirius XM Radio."

Gracenote, used by several clients in television and music, can identify 200 million songs, each in less than a tenth of a second, he said.

"The biggest revolution," though, will take place in television, said Liguori. "We know what banner ads do, we know what pre-roll ads do, and we know that TV video advertising is the most effective means of creating commerce ... with dynamic ad insertion, fueled by incredible data with great ad servers, the future of TV will likely be one-to-one advertising ... the revolution may actually happen in what is in fact the oldest vehicle."

Liguori made his predictions, appropriately enough, at the Bernstein Global Future of Media and Telecommunications Summit in Boston.

Unmentioned was the expiration of a deal between Dish and Tribune Broadcasting, leading to a blackout of 42 Tribune stations and WGN America that has so far lasted two weeks. On Tuesday, Dish sued Tribune over its "dump Dish" campaign, which is designed to encourage Dish customers to pressure the satellite provider into striking a new deal with Tribune that would restore its channels, including several affiliates of CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox in various markets.

Sticking with Gracenote, the CEO said, "The greatest opportunity is how many more mobile devices are going to be sold ... how much streaming material is going to be out there, and how we can activate those devices for ease of navigation."

Liguori used Xfinity, the service from Comcast, to illustrate Gracenote's potential for growth, especially in foreign markets where digital devices aren't yet a mature business.

"They just take our data and package it in a manner that is incredibly valuable to a viewer," he said of Xfinity. "As more people are consuming entertainment in more devices worldwide ... it is our data that will help fuel that."

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