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News Article | March 22, 2016
Site: motherboard.vice.com

Art is shaped by its infrastructure. This is obvious enough during creation, since a paintbrush and an electronic stylus deposit their marks differently, but it's also true during consumption, because as the presentation changes, the material being shown jockeys for position in the new frame. Format shifts have already altered the mechanics of music simultaneously several times over the past few decades, and the recent rush toward streaming services like Spotify and Google Play now positions a technology company between the listener and the material. Surely remote cloud storage is a new audio format at least as much as the Walkman? This is a new kind of consumer relationship, and the play button has a different meaning for each side; to the business, it does more than just switch on entertainment. As a result, there's now a sort of subtle power play occurring over control of the metadata which surrounds the music and connects it to search fields, filters, and playlists. This is unfortunate, because our ability to meaningfully engage with something depends first and foremost on whether we can find it at all. Many modern businesses now treat data as a valuable asset, even if they are still figuring out what exactly they might want to do with it. This is perhaps an appealing new way to view a music industry that has found its income decimated by copyright infringement; audience-focused data metrics can be used to define success in ways that differ from the dreary traditional sales figures. Unfortunately, it is also a tricky proposition technically, because although the way audio is encoded digitally is great for reproducing sounds, after the drums and guitars get all mashed together it becomes essentially impossible to "search" through the audio in the traditional sense, the way we might extract text passages from ebooks. Important metadata about the music thus must usually exist outside the audio stream itself, as distinct text fields, making it easily readable by computers without even requiring any interaction with the audio content. In other words, metadata is not an intrinsic feature of digital audio, and as a result it was always bundled into the file formats used as wrappers when storing them. Now, however, the two are now quietly being decoupled by streaming services. Music libraries transitioning to online services is a perfectly natural evolution. Similar changes have already happened to movies with Netflix, and even to messaging before that through webmail services like Gmail. But with audio files, the shift to the cloud has already undermined a huge trove of data that had previously existed offline, embedded in the files. It's no longer just about attributes of the songs: The word "metadata" requires the presence of another entity to which the data at hand refers, and increasingly, it now points toward the listener instead of toward whatever they're listening to. Maybe this was inevitable, since the songs themselves don't have any autonomous purchasing power. Last summer, Spotify unexpectedly ignited a small firestorm after it announced that its mobile app would soon start making requests for new kinds of user data, like tapping into a smartphone’s GPS or searching through its contacts and photographs. The proposed uses for the extra information were all relatively mundane—GPS-related workout features for runners, sharing favorite songs with your friends, customizing playlist views with personal photographs—but nonetheless, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek quickly posted a blog entry titled "SORRY." “We should have done a better job in communicating what these policies mean and how any information you choose to share will—and will not—be used,” Ek wrote. As the dust settled, it became clearer that Spotify’s new privacy policy was not especially unusual relative to its competitors, and it certainly helped that "Discover Weekly," a personalized recommendation feature introduced one month prior, was largely well-received. But in theory, one of the purposes of a subscription fee is to isolate users from this sort of data mining: If a company can establish its financial solvency through direct payments, then it won’t be forced to commodify the private information of freeloading users. The two strategies aren’t mutually exclusive, however, and the tension between them is central to the ongoing efforts to convert music from a discrete product that can be pirated into an ongoing service. Three seconds of Run The Jewels through spectrum analysis. GIF by author Plenty of companies now have business models that rely on in-depth user analytics and profiling, but Spotify's newly apparent interest in this data is especially illuminating. In early 2014, the company paid a reported $100 million to acquire a startup called the Echo Nest, originally a project of the MIT Media Lab, which presented a powerful mish-mash of music data capabilities. Flashiest among these was a way to algorithmically determine musical features like tempo and timbre by analyzing the audio, essentially allowing automated detection of metadata reflecting intrinsic structural qualities of the music. Just as crucial, though, was a subset of the functionality dubbed "Rosetta Stone," which allowed queries to use ID codes from other metadata sources and services, functionally resolving multiple data sets to create one giant data interchange. The Echo Nest was quickly absorbed into Spotify, but the results of its algorithmic audio analyses still aren't outwardly apparent to consumers anywhere in Spotify's product offering. The Echo Nest blog hasn't been updated since shortly after the acquisition, but the data service still operates independently, and has at times even been used by Spotify's competitors. One of those competitors, Rdio, was purchased by internet radio behemoth Pandora last year for $75 million, and then eventually shut down after all the assorted intellectual property and data assets had changed hands. When asked about competitive advantages during the investor call immediately following the announcement of the Rdio acquisition, Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews specifically referred to Pandora’s 60 billion “thumbs”—the company’s idiosyncratic terminology for the preferences expressed by users as they click thumbs-up and thumbs-down icons. Rdio complemented the thumbs with compelling audio metadata, but it mostly just repurposed a third-party library, licensed for a hefty fee from Rovi, an entertainment and media data service. Rovi’s is a terrific, robust data set which includes factual statistics, short qualitative descriptions (rousing, martial, elegiac) and themes (open road, girls’ night out, zeitgeist). They are managed by a staff of roughly 100 editors with specific genre specialties, and are accompanied by extensive custom-commissioned editorial content like album reviews and artist biographies to explain the nuances that can't be captured as pure data points. And Rovi isn't alone. Apple Music and Spotify both license data from a company called Gracenote, which evolved from an early service that simply stored song titles for use by CD players with text displays. Gracenote's information, like Rovi's, is compelling and meticulous, including both well-researched factual details like the release date, and also subjective descriptive terms, which are in some cases calculated mechanically, and other times compiled by a trained staff, with any closely related terms numerically weighted to characterize the precise nature their overlaps. Being that all this detailed music metadata is available for batch import from dedicated data services to which the streaming providers already subscribe, it's baffling that so little of it exposed to users. In theory, huge centralized media libraries should make it much easier to provide powerful and accurate metadata, because any given field can just be added, encoded, or corrected once, and all the downstream customers would benefit. But with slight variations, lackluster metadata is also the norm in all the streaming services. The Spotify interface reveals only a handful of fields for each song: artist name, song title, album title, duration, track number, year of release, popularity, and cover art. Tidal, the beleaguered high-fidelity streaming service launched last year by a coalition of artists led by Jay-Z, usually displays between two and four fields in its "track information" panel for most songs; those fields are often near-duplicates like performer, composer, and lyricist, containing identical or nearly-identical values. This is even more bizarre considering that Tidal's audio file format of choice is FLAC, which has particularly advanced metadata capabilities baked in. The Apple Music implementation is especially offensive: In the iTunes desktop application, the exact same metadata viewing window is used for both local files and streaming items, but in the latter case it is simply faded out and inaccessible to the user. For local files, however, it exposes more than thirty data points for each song, like “tempo” and “composer” (often different from “artist,” especially with classical music), with additional user-customizable fields. The iTunes user interface has grown cluttered as the emphasis has shifted to promoting its various paid services, but for many years it was actually quietly formidable as a metadata tool, with every click optimized for efficient data management. The operational logic of the iPod was completely powered by audio file tags for its first dozen years; in their absence you'd get only playlists consisting of baffling empty grids, track numbers, and the phrase "Unknown Artist." Metadata tags were the local media equivalent of Google's indexing of the internet. iTunes visualizer running "Unknown Artist" in the metadata. GIF by author Rovi mostly supplies a concrete data library, and it’s their clients who are doing the valuable user-level aggregations about listening patterns, tastes, and behavior – Rovi never had access to Rdio’s listening logs, for example. Nonetheless, one of the requests from Rovi clients which has been increasing in popularity most rapidly over the past few years has been "the need for more 'dynamic metadata'–to make music more contextual, searchable, and relevant to the individual," according to Kathy Weidman, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Metadata. "Dynamic" is a euphemism here: Weidman later characterized it as "relevant very specifically, based on previous searches of the individual." So this is an unfortunate combination: Users can no longer access metadata about the music, and yet that same music metadata is then being used to generate metadata about the users! Maybe it's a good idea on the product side, in that printing too much data on the screen might scare away more casual users. The proportion of listeners who utilized the most advanced metadata capabilities of local media files was always minuscule, so maybe it makes sense to abstract it away. On the other hand, if the metadata pop-up window is there in the first place, it probably shouldn't be empty, right? Either way, users who make specific requests probably aren't as valuable as users who have been conditioned to trust that the service is smart enough deliver what they want. A customer who can request an upbeat bluegrass song and then find one makes for a less compelling business proposition than a product that can intuit the desire. This brings us back to the Echo Nest, which finally popped up again in early March with a new Spotify feature. "Fresh Finds" complements the personalized recommendations of "Discover Weekly" by adding five new genre-specific playlists. These are built by first selecting rising new acts by crawling the internet outside Spotify, identifying thousands of anonymous "tastemakers" among the Spotify users who are already listening to those artists, and then analyzing the other things they are listening to. It's a novel approach to music discovery that obviously wouldn't be possible without Spotify's proprietary data about listener behavior, but there's also an angle from which this starts to look like a dystopian science-fiction worst-case scenario for art: brains in vats unaware they're being networked to create logic systems which dictate what everyone else should like. Technology is always inherently confusing. This is, in fact, one of the very things that makes us consider it technology, rather than mundane machinery. As such, our ability to comprehend the bleeding edge requires familiar reference points. The years conventionally considered to include the collapse of the record industry have also been accompanied by a huge increase in the breadth of easily-accessible music: indie rock bands, home recordings, a generation of critical favorites who can't afford health insurance. Audio metadata alone won't save the music industry, but it could make this newfound chaos comprehensible again if the music industry would stop studying its customers long enough to empower them. Music with metadata is a fundamentally different product from music without metadata, roughly comparable to the difference between cans of food with and without paper labels. This is about more than audio, though. Increasingly, we are keeping bits of ourselves in artifacts stored on servers—thoughts, messages, plans, art, memories—and our access to our digital metadata will then guide the ways in which we interact with the original entities, whether they're songs, photos, letters, or whatever else gets digitized next. If you lose track of something you love because you can't query your way back to it, did you ever really love it in the first place? That's a tough question currently, but perhaps the data models will one day become sophisticated enough to tell you. If you're really lucky, maybe you'll even be a part of the algorithm yourself.


News Article | October 7, 2016
Site: techcrunch.com

SoundCloud’s big differentiator is its offering of unofficial, user-uploaded content that the major labels don’t release and that isn’t on Spotify or Apple Music. Or at least they weren’t. The first unofficial single-track remixes just went live on Spotify and Apple Music thanks to their partnerships with music rights management service Dubset. Apple struck a deal with Dubset in March, and Spotify did in May, BPMSupreme reported. But the remixes are finally beginning to stream today, starting with this DJ Jazzy Jeff remix of Anderson .Paak. We’ve reached out to Spotify and Apple for comment. [Update: Spotify confirms that short-form mixes are now available. This is apparently just a small part of its integration with Dubset. It says the bigger part is when long-form mixed content becomes available, but there’s no definite timing on that.] Still missing are the multi-song mixsets DJs often share from their gigs. But Dubset is also equipped to distribute royalties from those and its deals permit them. Dubset CEO Stephen White tells me “Mixes are coming next!” Dubset works by scanning an entire mix and matching every part of the track to its Mixbank of snippets of official songs based on Gracenote’s audio fingerprinting database. Dubset matches the samples in a mix to these snippets, then distributes royalties for the play evenly to the original rights holders. In this case, Anderson .Paak’s rights holders would get paid because his music is the basis of Jazzy Jeff’s remix. White says 700 million people a month listen to mixed content, making it a big opportunity. But record labels have historically fought against unofficial mixes because they considered them piracy since they weren’t getting paid. Dubset gives them a fair share, so they’ll permit remixes and mix sets to stream on the major platforms. Royalty revenue from the platform is shared with rights holders while Dubset gets a cut. “Content owners have been very supportive. The publishing and label deals we have under license provides a large catalog to work with,” White tells me. This “allows some of the content that until now has only been on YouTube and SoundCloud to come to these great paid services where content owners will get paid!” The fact that unofficial content is now going live on Spotify and Apple Music could reduce the acquisition potential for SoundCloud, which the Financial Times says is in late-stage negotiations to be bought by Spotify. TechCrunch’s sources confirm the two have recently been talking about M&A. But if Spotify can get the best of SoundCloud’s content without coughing up a ton of money for a broken company that’s been struggling for years… Without the legal grey area of music as a differentiator, Spotify and Apple Music will end up competing on product features like Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist and Apple’s Beats 1 live radio station, as well as on exclusives and early access to big releases from top artists. The real winners here, though, are the artists and listeners. Original rights owners will get paid, remix producers and mixset DJs can share their creativity without being pirates and listeners can hear the music they want no matter how it got made.


News Article | December 21, 2016
Site: www.accesswire.com

LONDON, UK / ACCESSWIRE / December 21, 2016 / Active Wall St. blog coverage looks at the headline from Nielsen Holdings PLC (NYSE: NLSN) ("Nielsen") as the Company announced on December 20, 2016, that has entered into an agreement to buy Gracenote, the industry's premier provider of media and entertainment metadata, from Tribune Media Co. (NYSE: TRCO). The all-cash deal is valued at $560 million and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017. Register with us now for your free membership and blog access at: http://www.activewallst.com/register/. Today, AWS is promoting its blog coverage on NLSN and TRCO. Get all of our free blog coverage and more by clicking on the links below: Nielsen will pay Tribune Media $560 million in cash for Gracenote. Nielsen plans to finance the acquisition using a mix of cash in hand and debt. Once the deal is completed Gracenote will become a part of Nielsen's Watch division which keeps track and measures what consumers are watching. Gracenote will maintain its current headquarters in Emeryville, California post the merger. Nielsen expects the acquisition to be neutral to 2017 GAAP earnings and slightly accretive in 2018. Nielsen plans to share the details of the impact when it announced the fourth quarter earnings results for 2016. Commenting on the acquisition, Karthik Rao, President of Expanded Verticals at Nielsen said: "Gracenote's metadata and content recognition technology fuels the interfaces of the major video, music, and in-car infotainment systems that consumers engage with every day. This acquisition provides Nielsen with a significant asset in our mission of measuring and understanding consumer behavior." "We are excited for the opportunity to take the next step with Nielsen and expand our global reach by continuing to deliver innovative, insights-based solutions to clients." With this acquisition, Nielsen will acquire the data and data business operation of Gracenote including video, music, and sports. Gracenote's comprehensive database and reach across multiple platforms including multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), smart televisions, streaming music services, connected devices, media players, and in-car infotainment systems, will help Nielsen to expand its offerings to its clients. Nielsen will get access to Gracenote's automatic content recognition (ACR) technology. With this technology, Nielsen will be able to offer in-depth consumer behaviour analysis which in turn help clients to identify target customers in real time. It would also help Nielsen's clients to offer content which is targeted at specific audiences. Gracenote is a leading entertainment data tech company with companies like Apple, Hathway, Eurosport, and Tesla as its clients. It provides music, video, and sports content and technologies that allow TV users to choose programs when using digital guides when viewing TV at home. It also provides data to mobile devices so that they can identify which movies, TV shows or music are being played. In short, Gracenote helps people connect with digital entertainment by using its technology to link music services, consumer electronics companies, automakers, media companies, and cable and satellite TV operators. Gracenote started out as a CD metadata provider 20 years back and its services include audio and video content recommendations, TV guide data, and sports data. Gracenote has built a comprehensive data bank covering Music, TV, Movies, and Sports, and provides reference information for more than 12 million movie and television listings and 200 million music tracks. In 2014, Tribune Media had acquired Gracenote from Sony Corp. for $170 million. In February 2016, Tribune Media had initiated the process to explore strategic and financial alternatives to enhance shareholder value. The company explored various options including sale of part of its business, strategic partnerships, programming alliances and capital investments. Tribune Media took on the services of financial advisors Moelis & Co. and Guggenheim Securities for this purpose. Tribune Media's decision to sell the data and data business operation of Gracenote is a result of this process. However, it plans to retain the ownership of the business-to-consumer websites, Covers.com and ProSportsDaily.com. The sale will help it streamline and focus on the television and entertainment business. Tribune Media plans to use the funds realized from this deal to pay off its debt and reinvest the balance into the business. At the close of trading session on December 20, 2016, Nielsen's stock price ended the day flat at $43.29. A total volume of 1.95 million shares were exchanged during the session. The company's shares are trading at a PE ratio of 26.56 and have a dividend yield of 2.86%. The stock currently has a market cap of $15.46 billion. Tribune Media's share price finished yesterday's trading session at $35.45, rising 2.93%. A total volume of 1.73 million shares exchanged hands, which was higher than the 3 months average volume of 724.35 thousand shares. The stock has advanced 7.64% since the start of the year. The stock has a dividend yield of 2.82% and currently has a market cap of $3.19 billion. In a parallel announcement to the Gracenote's sales, Tribune Media declared the payment of a special dividend of approximately $500 million to its stockholders and warrant holders in Q12017. The dividend will be paid from its existing cash reserves. Active Wall Street (AWS) produces regular sponsored and non-sponsored reports, articles, stock market blogs, and popular investment newsletters covering equities listed on NYSE and NASDAQ and micro-cap stocks. AWS has two distinct and independent departments. One department produces non-sponsored analyst certified content generally in the form of press releases, articles and reports covering equities listed on NYSE and NASDAQ and the other produces sponsored content (in most cases not reviewed by a registered analyst), which typically consists of compensated investment newsletters, articles and reports covering listed stocks and micro-caps. Such sponsored content is outside the scope of procedures detailed below. AWS has not been compensated; directly or indirectly; for producing or publishing this document. The non-sponsored content contained herein has been prepared by a writer (the "Author") and is fact checked and reviewed by a third party research service company (the "Reviewer") represented by a credentialed financial analyst, for further information on analyst credentials, please email [email protected]. Rohit Tuli, a CFA® charterholder (the "Sponsor"), provides necessary guidance in preparing the document templates. The Reviewer has reviewed and revised the content, as necessary, based on publicly available information which is believed to be reliable. Content is researched, written and reviewed on a reasonable-effort basis. The Reviewer has not performed any independent investigations or forensic audits to validate the information herein. The Reviewer has only independently reviewed the information provided by the Author according to the procedures outlined by AWS. AWS is not entitled to veto or interfere in the application of such procedures by the third-party research service company to the articles, documents or reports, as the case may be. Unless otherwise noted, any content outside of this document has no association with the Author or the Reviewer in any way. AWS, the Author, and the Reviewer are not responsible for any error which may be occasioned at the time of printing of this document or any error, mistake or shortcoming. No liability is accepted whatsoever for any direct, indirect or consequential loss arising from the use of this document. AWS, the Author, and the Reviewer expressly disclaim any fiduciary responsibility or liability for any consequences, financial or otherwise arising from any reliance placed on the information in this document. Additionally, AWS, the Author, and the Reviewer do not (1) guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, completeness or correct sequencing of the information, or (2) warrant any results from use of the information. The included information is subject to change without notice. This document is not intended as an offering, recommendation, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell the securities mentioned or discussed, and is to be used for informational purposes only. Please read all associated disclosures and disclaimers in full before investing. Neither AWS nor any party affiliated with us is a registered investment adviser or broker-dealer with any agency or in any jurisdiction whatsoever. To download our report(s), read our disclosures, or for more information, visit http://www.activewallst.com/disclaimer/. For any questions, inquiries, or comments reach out to us directly. If you're a company we are covering and wish to no longer feature on our coverage list contact us via email and/or phone between 09:30 EDT to 16:00 EDT from Monday to Friday at: CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute.


News Article | December 21, 2016
Site: marketersmedia.com

LONDON, UK / ACCESSWIRE / December 21, 2016 / Active Wall St. blog coverage looks at the headline from Nielsen Holdings PLC (NYSE: NLSN) ("Nielsen") as the Company announced on December 20, 2016, that has entered into an agreement to buy Gracenote, the industry's premier provider of media and entertainment metadata, from Tribune Media Co. (NYSE: TRCO). The all-cash deal is valued at $560 million and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017. Register with us now for your free membership and blog access at: http://www.activewallst.com/register/. Today, AWS is promoting its blog coverage on NLSN and TRCO. Get all of our free blog coverage and more by clicking on the links below: Nielsen will pay Tribune Media $560 million in cash for Gracenote. Nielsen plans to finance the acquisition using a mix of cash in hand and debt. Once the deal is completed Gracenote will become a part of Nielsen's Watch division which keeps track and measures what consumers are watching. Gracenote will maintain its current headquarters in Emeryville, California post the merger. Nielsen expects the acquisition to be neutral to 2017 GAAP earnings and slightly accretive in 2018. Nielsen plans to share the details of the impact when it announced the fourth quarter earnings results for 2016. Commenting on the acquisition, Karthik Rao, President of Expanded Verticals at Nielsen said: "Gracenote's metadata and content recognition technology fuels the interfaces of the major video, music, and in-car infotainment systems that consumers engage with every day. This acquisition provides Nielsen with a significant asset in our mission of measuring and understanding consumer behavior." "We are excited for the opportunity to take the next step with Nielsen and expand our global reach by continuing to deliver innovative, insights-based solutions to clients." With this acquisition, Nielsen will acquire the data and data business operation of Gracenote including video, music, and sports. Gracenote's comprehensive database and reach across multiple platforms including multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), smart televisions, streaming music services, connected devices, media players, and in-car infotainment systems, will help Nielsen to expand its offerings to its clients. Nielsen will get access to Gracenote's automatic content recognition (ACR) technology. With this technology, Nielsen will be able to offer in-depth consumer behaviour analysis which in turn help clients to identify target customers in real time. It would also help Nielsen's clients to offer content which is targeted at specific audiences. Gracenote is a leading entertainment data tech company with companies like Apple, Hathway, Eurosport, and Tesla as its clients. It provides music, video, and sports content and technologies that allow TV users to choose programs when using digital guides when viewing TV at home. It also provides data to mobile devices so that they can identify which movies, TV shows or music are being played. In short, Gracenote helps people connect with digital entertainment by using its technology to link music services, consumer electronics companies, automakers, media companies, and cable and satellite TV operators. Gracenote started out as a CD metadata provider 20 years back and its services include audio and video content recommendations, TV guide data, and sports data. Gracenote has built a comprehensive data bank covering Music, TV, Movies, and Sports, and provides reference information for more than 12 million movie and television listings and 200 million music tracks. In 2014, Tribune Media had acquired Gracenote from Sony Corp. for $170 million. In February 2016, Tribune Media had initiated the process to explore strategic and financial alternatives to enhance shareholder value. The company explored various options including sale of part of its business, strategic partnerships, programming alliances and capital investments. Tribune Media took on the services of financial advisors Moelis & Co. and Guggenheim Securities for this purpose. Tribune Media's decision to sell the data and data business operation of Gracenote is a result of this process. However, it plans to retain the ownership of the business-to-consumer websites, Covers.com and ProSportsDaily.com. The sale will help it streamline and focus on the television and entertainment business. Tribune Media plans to use the funds realized from this deal to pay off its debt and reinvest the balance into the business. At the close of trading session on December 20, 2016, Nielsen's stock price ended the day flat at $43.29. A total volume of 1.95 million shares were exchanged during the session. The company's shares are trading at a PE ratio of 26.56 and have a dividend yield of 2.86%. The stock currently has a market cap of $15.46 billion. Tribune Media's share price finished yesterday's trading session at $35.45, rising 2.93%. A total volume of 1.73 million shares exchanged hands, which was higher than the 3 months average volume of 724.35 thousand shares. The stock has advanced 7.64% since the start of the year. The stock has a dividend yield of 2.82% and currently has a market cap of $3.19 billion. In a parallel announcement to the Gracenote's sales, Tribune Media declared the payment of a special dividend of approximately $500 million to its stockholders and warrant holders in Q12017. The dividend will be paid from its existing cash reserves. Active Wall Street (AWS) produces regular sponsored and non-sponsored reports, articles, stock market blogs, and popular investment newsletters covering equities listed on NYSE and NASDAQ and micro-cap stocks. AWS has two distinct and independent departments. One department produces non-sponsored analyst certified content generally in the form of press releases, articles and reports covering equities listed on NYSE and NASDAQ and the other produces sponsored content (in most cases not reviewed by a registered analyst), which typically consists of compensated investment newsletters, articles and reports covering listed stocks and micro-caps. Such sponsored content is outside the scope of procedures detailed below. AWS has not been compensated; directly or indirectly; for producing or publishing this document. The non-sponsored content contained herein has been prepared by a writer (the "Author") and is fact checked and reviewed by a third party research service company (the "Reviewer") represented by a credentialed financial analyst, for further information on analyst credentials, please email info@activewallst.com. Rohit Tuli, a CFA® charterholder (the "Sponsor"), provides necessary guidance in preparing the document templates. The Reviewer has reviewed and revised the content, as necessary, based on publicly available information which is believed to be reliable. Content is researched, written and reviewed on a reasonable-effort basis. The Reviewer has not performed any independent investigations or forensic audits to validate the information herein. The Reviewer has only independently reviewed the information provided by the Author according to the procedures outlined by AWS. AWS is not entitled to veto or interfere in the application of such procedures by the third-party research service company to the articles, documents or reports, as the case may be. Unless otherwise noted, any content outside of this document has no association with the Author or the Reviewer in any way. AWS, the Author, and the Reviewer are not responsible for any error which may be occasioned at the time of printing of this document or any error, mistake or shortcoming. No liability is accepted whatsoever for any direct, indirect or consequential loss arising from the use of this document. AWS, the Author, and the Reviewer expressly disclaim any fiduciary responsibility or liability for any consequences, financial or otherwise arising from any reliance placed on the information in this document. Additionally, AWS, the Author, and the Reviewer do not (1) guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, completeness or correct sequencing of the information, or (2) warrant any results from use of the information. The included information is subject to change without notice. This document is not intended as an offering, recommendation, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell the securities mentioned or discussed, and is to be used for informational purposes only. Please read all associated disclosures and disclaimers in full before investing. Neither AWS nor any party affiliated with us is a registered investment adviser or broker-dealer with any agency or in any jurisdiction whatsoever. To download our report(s), read our disclosures, or for more information, visit http://www.activewallst.com/disclaimer/. For any questions, inquiries, or comments reach out to us directly. If you're a company we are covering and wish to no longer feature on our coverage list contact us via email and/or phone between 09:30 EDT to 16:00 EDT from Monday to Friday at: CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute. LONDON, UK / ACCESSWIRE / December 21, 2016 / Active Wall St. blog coverage looks at the headline from Nielsen Holdings PLC (NYSE: NLSN) ("Nielsen") as the Company announced on December 20, 2016, that has entered into an agreement to buy Gracenote, the industry's premier provider of media and entertainment metadata, from Tribune Media Co. (NYSE: TRCO). The all-cash deal is valued at $560 million and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017. Register with us now for your free membership and blog access at: http://www.activewallst.com/register/. Today, AWS is promoting its blog coverage on NLSN and TRCO. Get all of our free blog coverage and more by clicking on the links below: Nielsen will pay Tribune Media $560 million in cash for Gracenote. Nielsen plans to finance the acquisition using a mix of cash in hand and debt. Once the deal is completed Gracenote will become a part of Nielsen's Watch division which keeps track and measures what consumers are watching. Gracenote will maintain its current headquarters in Emeryville, California post the merger. Nielsen expects the acquisition to be neutral to 2017 GAAP earnings and slightly accretive in 2018. Nielsen plans to share the details of the impact when it announced the fourth quarter earnings results for 2016. Commenting on the acquisition, Karthik Rao, President of Expanded Verticals at Nielsen said: "Gracenote's metadata and content recognition technology fuels the interfaces of the major video, music, and in-car infotainment systems that consumers engage with every day. This acquisition provides Nielsen with a significant asset in our mission of measuring and understanding consumer behavior." "We are excited for the opportunity to take the next step with Nielsen and expand our global reach by continuing to deliver innovative, insights-based solutions to clients." With this acquisition, Nielsen will acquire the data and data business operation of Gracenote including video, music, and sports. Gracenote's comprehensive database and reach across multiple platforms including multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), smart televisions, streaming music services, connected devices, media players, and in-car infotainment systems, will help Nielsen to expand its offerings to its clients. Nielsen will get access to Gracenote's automatic content recognition (ACR) technology. With this technology, Nielsen will be able to offer in-depth consumer behaviour analysis which in turn help clients to identify target customers in real time. It would also help Nielsen's clients to offer content which is targeted at specific audiences. Gracenote is a leading entertainment data tech company with companies like Apple, Hathway, Eurosport, and Tesla as its clients. It provides music, video, and sports content and technologies that allow TV users to choose programs when using digital guides when viewing TV at home. It also provides data to mobile devices so that they can identify which movies, TV shows or music are being played. In short, Gracenote helps people connect with digital entertainment by using its technology to link music services, consumer electronics companies, automakers, media companies, and cable and satellite TV operators. Gracenote started out as a CD metadata provider 20 years back and its services include audio and video content recommendations, TV guide data, and sports data. Gracenote has built a comprehensive data bank covering Music, TV, Movies, and Sports, and provides reference information for more than 12 million movie and television listings and 200 million music tracks. In 2014, Tribune Media had acquired Gracenote from Sony Corp. for $170 million. In February 2016, Tribune Media had initiated the process to explore strategic and financial alternatives to enhance shareholder value. The company explored various options including sale of part of its business, strategic partnerships, programming alliances and capital investments. Tribune Media took on the services of financial advisors Moelis & Co. and Guggenheim Securities for this purpose. Tribune Media's decision to sell the data and data business operation of Gracenote is a result of this process. However, it plans to retain the ownership of the business-to-consumer websites, Covers.com and ProSportsDaily.com. The sale will help it streamline and focus on the television and entertainment business. Tribune Media plans to use the funds realized from this deal to pay off its debt and reinvest the balance into the business. At the close of trading session on December 20, 2016, Nielsen's stock price ended the day flat at $43.29. A total volume of 1.95 million shares were exchanged during the session. The company's shares are trading at a PE ratio of 26.56 and have a dividend yield of 2.86%. The stock currently has a market cap of $15.46 billion. Tribune Media's share price finished yesterday's trading session at $35.45, rising 2.93%. A total volume of 1.73 million shares exchanged hands, which was higher than the 3 months average volume of 724.35 thousand shares. The stock has advanced 7.64% since the start of the year. The stock has a dividend yield of 2.82% and currently has a market cap of $3.19 billion. In a parallel announcement to the Gracenote's sales, Tribune Media declared the payment of a special dividend of approximately $500 million to its stockholders and warrant holders in Q12017. The dividend will be paid from its existing cash reserves. Active Wall Street (AWS) produces regular sponsored and non-sponsored reports, articles, stock market blogs, and popular investment newsletters covering equities listed on NYSE and NASDAQ and micro-cap stocks. AWS has two distinct and independent departments. One department produces non-sponsored analyst certified content generally in the form of press releases, articles and reports covering equities listed on NYSE and NASDAQ and the other produces sponsored content (in most cases not reviewed by a registered analyst), which typically consists of compensated investment newsletters, articles and reports covering listed stocks and micro-caps. Such sponsored content is outside the scope of procedures detailed below. 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Duan Z.,University of Rochester | Han J.,Gracenote | Pardo B.,Northwestern University
IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing | Year: 2014

Multi-pitch analysis of concurrent sound sources is an important but challenging problem. It requires estimating pitch values of all harmonic sources in individual frames and streaming the pitch estimates into trajectories, each of which corresponds to a source. We address the streaming problem for monophonic sound sources. We take the original audio, plus frame-level pitch estimates from any multi-pitch estimation algorithm as inputs, and output a pitch trajectory for each source. Our approach does not require pre-training of source models from isolated recordings. Instead, it casts the problem as a constrained clustering problem, where each cluster corresponds to a source. The clustering objective is to minimize the timbre inconsistency within each cluster. We explore different timbre features for music and speech. For music, harmonic structure and a newly proposed feature called uniform discrete cepstrum (UDC) are found effective; while for speech, MFCC and UDC works well. We also show that timbre-consistency is insufficient for effective streaming. Constraints are imposed on pairs of pitch estimates according to their time-frequency relationships.We propose a new constrained clustering algorithm that satisfies as many constraints as possible while optimizing the clustering objective. We compare the proposed approach with other state-of-the-art supervised and unsupervised multi-pitch streaming approaches that are specifically designed for music or speech. Better or comparable results are shown. © 2013 IEEE.


News Article | December 20, 2016
Site: www.prnewswire.com

NEW YORK, Dec. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Nielsen today announced it has entered into an agreement with Tribune Media Company to purchase Gracenote, the industry's premier provider of media and entertainment metadata. With this transaction, Nielsen will acquire the data and technology that...


News Article | December 20, 2016
Site: www.prnewswire.com

CHICAGO, Dec. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Tribune Media Company (NYSE: TRCO) today announced that it has agreed to sell substantially all of its Digital and Data business operations, comprised of Gracenote video, music and sports, to the Nielsen Company (NYSE: NLSN) for $560 million in cash,...


News Article | January 11, 2016
Site: motherboard.vice.com

One of my favourite videos of David Bowie (I have a few) is a clip from the 1997 documentary Inspirations, directed by Michael Apted. Filmed during the production of Bowie’s 1995 album Outside, Bowie is sitting at a black Apple PowerBook, in front of a sentence randomizer app he designed for writing the album's lyrics. Bowie gestures to the screen: “It’s a program that I’ve developed with a friend of mine from San Francisco, and it’s called the Verbasizer.” Demonstrating the program, he continues. “It’ll take the sentence, and I’ll divide it up between the columns, and then when I’ve got say, three or four or five—sometimes I’ll go as much as 20, 25 different sentences going across here, and then I’ll set it to randomize. And it’ll take those 20 sentences and cut in between them all the time, picking out, choosing different words from different columns, and from different rows of sentences.” “So what you end up with is a real kaleidoscope of meanings and topic and nouns and verbs all sort of slamming into each other.” (Hallo) Spaceboy, You're sleepy now Your silhouette is so stationary You're released but your custody calls And I want to be free Don't you want to be free Do you like girls or boys It's confusing these days But Moondust will cover you Cover you An excerpt of the lyrics from the song Hallo Spaceboy, off Bowie's 1995 album Outside, which is said to have been mostly written with and inspired by the output of a piece of custom-made text randomization software. The Verbasizer was a digital version of an approach to lyrical writing that Bowie had been using for decades, called the cut-up technique. Popularized by writers William Burroughs and Brion Gysin, the technique relied on source literary material—a newspaper article or diary entry, perhaps—that had been cut up into words or phrases, and re-ordered into new, random, potentially significant meanings. In typical Bowie fashion, he had reinvented the technique, albeit with a digital twist. Bowie worked on the Verbasizer with Ty Roberts, who went on to become the co-founder and chief technology officer of Gracenote, a service that maintains a database of audio CD metadata. According to an interview with Hypebot in 2013, Roberts had been working on interactive CD-ROMs for both Outside producer Brian Eno and Bowie at the time, and was invited to visit the studio during the pair’s recording of Outside. “Roberts described Bowie as taking multiple word sources, from the newspaper to hand-written words, cutting them up, throwing them into a hat and then arranging the fragments on pieces of paper. He'd then cross out material that didn't fit to create lines of lyrics,” Hypebot senior contributor Clyde Smith recounted. “Roberts suggested he could create software for Bowie to speed up the process and did so for use on a Mac laptop.” The Verbasizer, though faster, was merely the latest incarnation of Bowie’s cut-up process. Bowie described the technique in a 1974 BBC documentary, Cracked Actor, as “igniting anything that might be in my imagination,” and would use it often in the decade’s remaining years. “Randomness and juxtaposition were to be the guiding principles in his work in the second half of the 1970s,” wrote according to author David Buckley in Strange Fascination: David Bowie: The Definitive Story. “The sense of randomness appealed greatly to Bowie. He would write a song both in the first and third person and then randomize these two perspectives to create a ‘new’ subjectivity.” The results appeared on three albums from that period—Low, Heroes, and Lodger, the so-called Berlin Trilogy—today considered some of Bowie’s best work. From 1976 to 1979, David Bowie worked with producer Brian Eno on the Berlin Trilogy, and 1995’s Outside was the first time Bowie and Eno had worked together since. It was only fitting he was using the technique once again. Outside would be Bowie’s 19th studio album. Bowie’s 25th and final studio album, Blackstar, was released last Friday, January 8—the date of his 69th birthday, and just days before his death.


EMERYVILLE, Calif., Feb. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Gracenote®, a Nielsen company (NYSE: NLSN), is launching breakthrough entertainment data products developed specifically for next-generation converged media platforms and services. The all-new Gracenote connected databases for Video, Music...


News Article | December 4, 2015
Site: techcrunch.com

Having all your content on TV is a bit like having all your money in oil: it’s still popular, but the next thing is coming and you better diversify. That’s why it’s so smart that talk show host Ellen DeGeneres set up her own Ellen Digital Ventures firm to bring her content and capital to new mediums beyond television. Today, Ellen Digital Ventures announced that musician competition app Chosen will be its latest investment and partnership. Chosen will now feature Ellen’s Dance Off, a new contest where people can submit videos of themselves dancing and use Tinder-esque swipes to vote on who else is the best dancer. Starting with a freestyle dance off and a themed contest around Missy Elliot’s new song “WTF”, the top dancers in Chosen will be invited to strut their stuff on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Ellen is just the first to make their own game on Chosen, which will open up as a platform next year. That will allow anyone to pick a theme for people to compete around, from singing or dancing to extreme sports or comedy. “We recognize people are consuming content on smaller and smaller screens and we want to be part of that”, says The Ellen DeGeneres Show producer Andy Lassner. Rather than sticking with its demographic of 25-54 year old women watching TV, Ellen Digital Ventures is helping the celebrities build a younger audience on the next medium: mobile. Producer Mary Connelly explains “The digital landscape is a new digital playground for our wildly creative staff.” Chosen is Ellen Digital Ventures’ fourth big project. It launched the family-friendly YouTube alternative EllenTube last year to feature clips from her TV show plus exclusive content. And in October, Ellen launched Psych!, a party game where friends sit around trying to trick each other with fake trivia answers. Ellen first dove into mobile with her own game Heads Up! where players try guess the word on their own phone held against their head. The investment of undisclosed size adds to the $6.5 million raised by Chosen from DCM, Rhodium, and CrunchFund [Disclosure: CrunchFund was started by TechCrunch’s founder]. Chosen’s American Idol-style app for iOS and Android launched a year ago to let people play by both performing or judging others. But to prep for the partnership with Ellen, Chosen has simplified its app and refocused on celebrating people’s submissions rather than harsh Simon Cowell-style critiques. Now instead of several confusing game types, Chosen has been boiled down to just performing and voting. Chosen was founded by former Gracenote, MOG, and Beats Music CEO David Hyman. Now his entertainment industry connections have brought Chosen a powerful way to grow. Ellen will ask her viewers to submit dance videos through the app, and seeing people wild out on stage will surely inspire fans to hit record themselves. The game is remarkably fun. Each swipe reveals a new dancer shaking it for your praise. It’s a rapid fire way to consume video that has legs long beyond the dance contest format. Simple and addictive, it adds movement to the static Tinder design people already love. And since Ellen is all about positivity and there’s no way to leave mean comments like on YouTube, Chosen users can boogie without being bullied. You don’t even technically vote against people, but just refresh to see another clip. The Ellen DeGeneres Show producer Ed Glavin concludes, “The crazier this world gets and the harder it is to turn on your TV and see something pleasant, the more important it is for us to be an escape.”

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