Even for an industry known for its light-speed mergers, Yahoo's acquisition of social TV service IntoNow was near record breaking. The announcement of the deal came only three months after IntoNow’s launch last January; TechCrunch sources put the sale price in the $20 million-$30 million range.
IntoNow is based on an iPhone app that can "hear" and detect the television show a user is watching and “check in” to the program, much in the way Foursquare allows users to check in to physical locations. IntoNow also allows users to alert friends to their TV-viewing patterns using Twitter and Facebook. The company has also been pursuing deals with national brand advertisers; just last week, IntoNow announced a deal with Pepsi in which users who tagged commercials in a new campaign for Pepsi Max would receive coupons for a free soda at retailers like Target and CVS.
"We were all surprised to say the least but it makes a ton of sense, and we're ready to rock," IntoNow wrote Monday in a blog post on its site. "We want to grow the experiences, platforms (yes, we've heard you loud and clear: Android, iPad, Web based, etc.), and countries to engage with you, our community. That takes resources and a global scale. Yahoo has shown us that they are excited about what we're doing and committed to continue innovating for our community."
IntoNow currently has a catalog of U.S.-based TV programming spanning some 150 million minutes and going back five years. According to TechCrunch, Yahoo was under pressure to complete the deal quickly, with both Facebook and Twitter pursuing the company while Yahoo was completing its due diligence.