Long before the age of iPods and iTunes, I had an idea that wound up changing the landscape of digital music and entertainment. In 1996, I began assembling the puzzle pieces I’d identified necessary for bringing my idea to life and founded Escient Technologies, which later was renamed Gracenote. I then embarked on an aggressive strategy that included purchasing several companies, intellectual property, and technologies while organically building the complex “glue” technology that cemented all the valuable pieces together.
I searched the entire globe to find and acquire core music recognition technologies including CDDB, ION, the Quintessential Player, and Cantametrix to carefully construct the company that is now known as Gracenote, the undisputed leader in global digital entertainment technology.Gracenote’s content delivery engine provides the ability to aggregate and deliver rich third-party content that is directly related to music as it is playing. Gracenote became the Web’s first “music browser” by allowing its licensees to recognize MP3s as well as CDs and to receive information about artists on the screen while users listen to music. By providing player partners, application developers and device makers the ability to serve targeted content in context to the music listening experience, Gracenote enables its partners to generate new revenue streams.
My ultimate vision for digital music and entertainment was fulfilled. The Internet-based music service company Gracenote was sold to Sony for $260 million in 2008. Gracenote services are now utilized by the likes of Apple, Yahoo, and Sony, being accessed globally at the rate of 24 billion times per year through applications such as iTunes.