For Yahoo, IntoNow fills out mobile part of TV strategy

Summary:Yahoo on Monday acquired IntoNow, a company that makes social TV check-in software, to fill out its portfolio as it tries to garner television ad dollars.

Yahoo on Monday acquired IntoNow, a company that makes social TV check-in software, to fill out its portfolio as it tries to garner television ad dollars.

Here's how IntoNow works. With an app you can tap a green button when watching TV. That app identifies the show and then you can share with friends on Twitter and Facebook.

Yahoo obviously saw something in IntoNow because it reportedly spent $20 million to $30 million. The startup launched in January and has indexed five years of U.S. TV programming. This database in theory can better connect audiences, content companies and advertisers.

For Yahoo, the deal is another piece of its TV portfolio. In a statement, Yahoo said that the purchase is about "relying on social channels as a means for discovering content" across the PC, mobile device or television. In a blog post, Yahoo said IntoNow's technology will allow it to provide video and social experiences.

IntoNow is integrated with Facebook, Twitter, iTunes and Netflix. Yahoo has the following parts on the TV front:

  • Connected TV software with games, shopping and Web video. This interface is available through TV makers such as Samsung, Vizio and Sony among others.
  • Widgets available on multiple TVs.
  • And IntoNow fills out the mobile TV viewing part of the equation.

On Yahoo's earnings conference call last week, CEO Carol Bartz increasingly sounded like a media exec looking for traffic building homeruns and TV ad dollars as it hunts for revenue growth.

We’re driving engagement with increasingly personalized and richer content delivered to any device. Let me give you two great examples this quarter — namely, the blockbuster events of the Super Bowl and the Oscars. Yahoo! always sees big traffic around major events; that’s nothing new. What’s new this year are the technology advances and editorial focus that allowed us to program these big events in ways that drove even more engagement. For example, using our content optimization engine, we showed different Super Bowl packages to many different audience segments during and after the game. Hardcore football fans got on-the-field news. Other users got roundups of the ads. And still others saw broader interest stories. This simple, personalized programming drove more than 37 million clicks, double last year’s numbers. That’s huge. For the Academy Awards, we did even more. We levered new ways of promoting the events across the Yahoo! network through the home page, search, mail and media properties. We developed custom videos focusing on buzzworthy topics.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Social Enterprise


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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