The Tribune Co. has agreed to buy Sony Corporation of America’s Gracenote subsidiary for $170 million, adding a music metadata service and beefing up its video metadata operation.

The deal is a reminder of the growing importance of content search, discovery, and especially recommendation as a means of personalizing video services.

Gracenote is by far best known for its music metadata, used by a number of streaming music services. The Gracenote database gets 550 million look-ups each day and more than 16 billion every month, the company claimed. Beyond that, Gracenote also has an extensive video metadata database as well.

Tribune will combine Gracenote with Tribune Media Services (TMS), also a provider of television and movie metadata. Tribune said that TMS currently reaches hundreds of millions of viewers through a number of clients.

The company also provides data and information for one million movies and TV shows to 30 countries and holds over 90 U.S. and foreign patents.

"This transaction extends and complements TMS' best-in-class core competency in the metadata business, while also deepening Tribune's slate of subscription services," said Peter Liguori, Tribune Company president and chief executive officer.

Stephen White, president of Gracenote, said, "The marriage of these world-class music and video data platforms, from TMS and Gracenote, will help us reimagine how people discover and connect with music, movies and TV shows across all devices."

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.