Yahoo buys IntoNow, maker of TV ‘check-in’ app for iOS devices


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Yahoo has bought IntoNow, a Palo Alto start-up that makes an iOS app with which users ‘check in’ to films or television shows they’re watching.

The purchase is a fast one. The app, which is also called IntoNow, launched Jan. 31 and was produced by a team of seven people. The company’s chief executive, Adam Cahan, is a former employee of both Google and MTV.


‘Yes that’s 12 weeks later… We were all surprised to say the least but it makes a ton of sense and we’re ready to rock,’ IntoNow said Monday in a blog post announcing the sale. ‘We want to grow the experiences, platforms (yes we’ve heard you loud and clear: Android, iPad, web-based, etc.) and countries to engage with you, our community. That takes resources and a global scale.

‘Yahoo! has shown us that they are excited about what we’re doing and committed to continue innovating for our community.’

Yahoo and IntoNow didn’t disclose how much the tech giant paid for the small start-up, but various outlets have reported the amount to be from about $17 million to as much as $30 million.

IntoNow works by using the built-in microphone on an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch to listen to TV shows or movies playing nearby. The app, using a database of audio from programming, identifies what’s on a user’s TV or computer and allows a users to ‘check-in’ to a show or movie and then share what their watching on Facebook, Twitter or via an IntoNow account.

The app can identify the TV show or movie that’s playing down to the airing, episode and time of a program, for shows that are up to 5 years old. The app also produces recommendations for what to watch, based on what it identifies as a user’s interests and what a user’s friends have watched.

‘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,’ Bill Shaughnessy, Yahoo’s senior vice president of product management, said in a statement. ‘IntoNow’s technology combines the ability to check in to what a consumer is watching, engage in conversations and find related content.


‘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.’


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles