Blog Post

GMG Buys UBC’s MXR, Takes Its iTunes Tagging Service

By Mark Sweney: UBC Media has sold its stake in radio multiplex MXR to Guardian Media Group and struck a deal to allow listeners across the group’s 12 radio stations to tag songs on iTunes to make buying tracks easier.

The company, which supplies multimedia content to the BBC and 250 commercial stations, has sold its 7.5% stake in MXR to GMG for £136,000 in cash.

In addition UBC has signed a deal to implement iTunes Tagging functionality across GMG Radio’s 12 stations.

The service allows radio listeners to use the wheel on the iPod nano to tag a song they like. This then appears in a list of all the user’s other tagged songs on iTunes, Apple’s digital music store, so listeners can more easily purchase favourite tracks.

“iTunes Tagging is exactly the type of new multimedia development that we want to be involved in,” said Simon Cole, chief executive of UBC Media. “It is still at an early stage but should it be widened to the other Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) products, we will be in a very good place to exploit that development.”

Cole said the sale of the stake in MXR was part of a strategy to focus on the production of content and the development of interactive software.

UBC will also receive a one-off cash dividend payment from MXR of £52,000, the company said. As part of the deal UBC has also been released from spectrum contract deals with MXR which run until 2015.

Disclosure: Our publisher ContentNext is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian News & Media.

This article originally appeared in © Guardian News & Media Ltd..