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Data company Gracenote is continuing its international expansion with the purchase today of rival metadata service HWW.

HWW is one of the leading providers of TV and movie metadata (cast lists, production details, genres, and more) services in Australia. Australia is among the top 15 biggest television markets in the world, according to Gracenote.

The $19 million acquisition deal will allow Tribune Media-owned Gracenote, which provides its own metadata services for various digital media, to grab immediate traction in Australia’s entertainment market. It also fits in with new Gracenote CEO John Batter’s strategy to move into additional markets in the Asia-Pacific region that are currently underserved, as he noted in a previous interview with VentureBeat.

The metadata that companies like Gracenote provide is the reason digital media services aren’t more frustrating to use. Without them your cable TV set-top box’s programming guide feature would just be an empty grid of “TBA” time slots — devoid of story/plot descriptions, episode numbers, notable guest star appearances, and more. You’d be forced to flip through channels the old-fashioned way (channel-by-channel) like technology-deprived savages.

As for HWW, it isn’t the only recent international acquisition for Gracenote. Back in July, the company purchased TV data service What’s-On to aid in its expansion into India and the Middle East. It also picked up leading movie data service Baseline for $50 million last month. The new acquisitions mean that Gracenote now provides movie and TV data services in 55 countries around the world.



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