Yahoo acquires mobile TV-tagging start up

Yahoo has acquired TV tagging start-up IntoNow in a deal reported to be worth between $20-30m. The purchase is expected to bolster the firm’s video and social content offerings. IntoNow, which only launched at the end of January this year, has developed a free iPhone application that allows users to share instantly the programmes they are watching with Facebook and Twitter friends as well as iTunes and Netflix. The expectation is that an Android version of the application will now be developed.

Yahoo has been struggling to compete with rival Google in the search stakes in recent years, sparking a move towards digital media offerings, such as Yahoo! Connected TV, which allows users to link to online content from their television set. The IntoNow addition will see users checking-in online as they watch TV while the software indexes related content going back five years. This last feature is enabled by IntoNow’s SoundPrint platform, which is capable of automatically identifying live or previously aired US television content.

According to a press release issued by the company, IntoNow is able to “identify content down to the airing, episode and time within the programme as well as provide programme information and links associated with it, all within a matter of seconds.” Yahoo product management and marketing vice president Bill Shaughnessy said that the acquisition would enable the company to bolster its “social engagement across the Yahoo network and on all screens.”

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