Yahoo Acquires Social TV Startup IntoNow4/25/2011 12:49 PM Eastern
Yahoo has bought IntoNow, a seven-employee startup that developed an iPhone app that identifies the TV show a user is currently viewing based on the program's audio and provides hooks into social networking sites.
Financial terms were not disclosed. Investors in IntoNow were venture-capital firms Greylock Partners and Redpoint Ventures; the company did not disclose how much it had raised in its first and only round of funding.
IntoNow launched Jan. 31, 2011, with a database it claimed indexes audio from more than five years of U.S.-based TV programming. According to the startup, IntoNow uses a "sound print" to identify content down to the airing, episode and time within a program as well as provide program information and links associated with it. The IntoNow application is integrated with Facebook, Twitter, iTunes and Netflix.
IntoNow CEO and founder Adam Cahan was previously CEO of Auditude, an online-video management and advertising services, and prior to that was MTVN's executive vice president of strategy and business development. Other members of the Palo Alto, Calif., startup's founding team include former employees of Google, Microsoft and IDEO.
IntoNow had previously announced a partnership with MTV to promote the network's new shows. For example, IntoNow users who tag six premiere airings this season of Jersey Shore will be entered for a chance to win a trip for two to the season four premiere of the popular reality show.
Yahoo said IntoNow will let it provide "enhanced media experiences and video programming" with greater social engagement on all screens.
"Relying on social channels as a means for discovering content -- whether it's on a PC, mobile device, or TV -- is rapidly on the rise. IntoNow's technology combines the ability to check-in to what a consumer is watching, engage in conversations, and find related content," Yahoo senior vice president of global product management Bill Shaughnessy said in announcing the acquisition. "The IntoNow application the team has built clearly demonstrates the opportunities the technology presents across Yahoo!'s network, especially in regards to our video content, search, mobile and Connected TV experiences. We are excited to have the IntoNow team join Yahoo! as we continue to build out these experiences."