Yahoo Acquires IntoNow Social TV App Three Months after Launch

In February, ETCentric reported on Palo Alto start-up IntoNow, which had developed an iOS app that identifies and tags live TV shows in realtime, creating something similar to Shazam, but for television rather than radio. Just three months after the social TV app’s official launch, Yahoo announced it had purchased IntoNow. Although the exact transaction numbers were not disclosed, most reports place it in the $13-17 million range.

Here’s how it works: Users press a button on the app interface while viewing a television program and, with the aid of a platform called SoundPrint, the app uses the program’s audio for identification (within 4-12 seconds). The results appear on the iPhone or iPad screen and can be shared via social networking entities such as Facebook or Twitter, or can be added to a Netflix queue. (An Android version is reportedly in development.)

Yahoo is expected to integrate IntoNow’s SoundPrint technology with existing services such as its Connected TV platform — and possibly use it for plans regarding audio watermarks for identifying advertisements and displaying additional information.

According to the Yahoo press release: “The addition of IntoNow will enable Yahoo! to provide enhanced media experiences and video programming, bolstering its social engagement across the Yahoo! network and on all screens. IntoNow users are able to easily engage with friends around the shows they enjoy most. IntoNow helps people discover new shows, discuss favorites with friends and learn more about them, and provides recommendations for what is currently airing based on their interests and those they are connected to. The application is also integrated with Facebook, Twitter, iTunes and Netflix to enable more sharing and information gathering.”

Engadget posted a video demo where the user is watching CNN on a laptop (place-shifted via SlingBox), and uses the IntoNow app on an iPad to identify the TV stream.

Related Engadget post (including Yahoo press release): “Yahoo buys TV companion app developer IntoNow and its database of sounds” (4/25/11)