Yahoo buys TV "check-in" company IntoNow

NEW YORK Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:58pm EDT

A Yahoo billboard is seen in New York's Times Square October 19, 2010. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

A Yahoo billboard is seen in New York's Times Square October 19, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc said on Monday it has bought IntoNow, a start-up that enables users to identify and share television programs with their friends, in its continuing drive to boost its social media credentials.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

IntoNow, which is led by Adam Cahan, a former executive with Google Inc and Viacom Inc's MTV, works with an app on a user's phone which scans the audio waves from TV sets and identifies the programs being aired.

Once the shows are identified, they can be easily shared with the user's friends on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

The IntoNow application indexes television shows in real time creating a database for easy discovery.

Other start-ups have launched similar "check-in" services for TV, including GetGlue, a start-up backed with around $12 million in funding from Time Warner Inc and other venture capital backers.

Yahoo for its part hopes the addition of IntoNow will enable it to enhance its video programing, bolstering its social engagement across the Yahoo network.

General use websites like Yahoo and AOL Inc, which were extremely popular with users for easy access to news, email and other features, have lost ground to social media like Facebook and Twitter as well as Apple Inc's iTunes and Netflix Inc.

"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," said Bill Shaughnessy, Yahoo senior vice president of product management.

(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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