This article was published on January 31, 2011

IntoNow: A TV check-in service that hears what you’re watching

IntoNow: A TV check-in service that hears what you’re watching
Brad McCarty
Story by

Brad McCarty

A music and tech junkie who calls Nashville home, Brad is the Director TNW Academy. You can follow him on Twitter @BradMcCarty. A music and tech junkie who calls Nashville home, Brad is the Director TNW Academy. You can follow him on Twitter @BradMcCarty.

If you’ve spent any time around Twitter or Facebook lately then you’ve surely seen people using services such as GetGlue or Miso to check in to the shows that they’re watching. While the idea of checking in is far from new, a service launching today called IntoNow is completely changing the way that you’re going to do it.

IntoNow uses a technology called SoundPrint. Instead of having to scroll around or type in what show you’re watching, IntoNow will simply listen to the TV show that’s currently playing and, in as little as 4 seconds, identify the show and episode to allow you to share that information with your friends.

For now, IntoNow runs on your iPhone or 4th generation iPod Touch. Using the built-in microphone, the SoundPrint technology can scan its database of over 256 years of content to match up the sound with anything that has been aired in the past 5 years. So, even if a show is older than 5 years itself, even if it has been aired in syndication IntoNow can identify it. Don’t believe it? Here’s a quick video that I shot using IntoNow and Netflix.

Pretty slick, eh? Once your show is identified, you can choose to share it via Facebook or Twitter, find more information about it at IMDb, see if it’s available on Netflix or purchase episodes on iTunes. All the while, IntoNow continues to scan 130 broadcast stations in real time, 24 hours a day to add to its database.

What’s more? As your social network uses IntoNow, you can see exactly what they’ve been watching, as well. Each entry is given a small page and your personal profile grows with each show that you let IntoNow hear.

We spend 2/3 of our leisure time watching TV. As the activity of watching TV while talking about shows via our mobile devices becomes even more common (Nielsen says that 60% of us do just that) an entirely new platform for media has shown up. According to IntoNow CEO Adam Cahan, that $80 billion TV advertising industry is clawing for new ways to work and IntoNow is poised to become one of them.

As I said in the video, the service will eventually allow advertisers to send targeted advertising directly to you as you check in to a show. Beyond that, though, the fact that the app knows without any doubt that you’re watching this particular program is information that advertisers haven’t had readily available to them outside of Nielsen ratings.

But right now, the challenge that IntoNow faces is changing user behavior. Many people are already used to using the other services and have gained rewards for doing so. While the other services do seem clunky and counter-intuitive by comparison, they have still gathered substantial bases of users and IntoNow has to tap into them while gaining direct use from otherwise-unaffiliated viewers.

It’s a challenge that Cahan is willing to take:

Television has always been a source of social engagement, and yet there’s never been an easy way for people to create connections with their friends around the shows they are into…what we see here is the potential to automatically connect audiences, content owners, and advertisers with a simple click of a button.

Want to give it a try? You’ll need to snag the free IntoNow app from the App Store. You can find out more information about it over at the IntoNow site. Is it enough to upend GetGlue or Miso? Only you can decide.

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