ADOTAS – They keep getting bought up younger and younger. Yahoo! has just acquired IntoNow, a mobile app that identifies TV shows — “right down to the episode” — as well as a social network built around TV viewing. Sources report the price tag for the 12-week-old startup (the company launched on Jan. 31, 2011) was $17 million — $15 million cash, $2 million in stock.
Facebook and Twitter were also interested in the company, which can easily be described as “Shazam for TV shows”). The prize here is IntoNow’s patented indexing and audio fingerprinting technology, SoundPrint. The company has indexed 140 million minutes of previously aired TV programming from the last five years.
You bet there’s an advertising component to this. Last week we wrote about IntoNow’s first branding initiative with Pepsi — if a IntoNow user tagged a Pepsi Max commercial, he or she was offered a free 20-ounce bottle at a participating local retailer (located by the app). It was reported that IntoNow was in talks with movie studios, carmakers and CPG companies about future campaigns.
Yahoo! is certainly going to push the service on its cadre of brand display advertisers, and the portal will likely attract additional brand interest by instantly making TV campaigns interactive through IntoNow. That’s a clever way to get in on those TV branding budgets.