Media

Hearst, Google, and Oprah check in to social TV app Miso

Bazaar Labs, the startup that created TV check-in app Miso, just announced that it has raised $1.5 million in its first institutional round of funding.

The San Francisco company also shared some numbers about its progress today. Since it launched the first Miso application in March, nearly 100,000 users have registered and they have created more than 2 million “engagements” (which include check-ins, comments, and likes), including 400,000 in the last 30 days. (Miso is now available on iPhone, Android, and iPad.)

Now, that’s not quite a runaway success on the level of some other social apps, but it shows that there is definitely viewer interest in the TV check-in concept. Somewhat analogous to location-based services like Foursquare and Gowalla, which let people announce their location to friends online by checking in to physical venues, Miso’s TV check-in service allows people to inform their friends what they’re watching right now. (Competitor GetGlue, which allows users to check in to a broader range of entertainment media, said in July that it was seeing about 150,000 check-ins and reviews per day.) I expect that number will go up as Miso experiments with providing the right incentives to check in, such as deals and special content.

The round was led by Google Ventures, which also participated in Bazaar Labs’ seed round, with participation from Hearst Interactive Media. (One of the company’s angel investors, Georges Harik, also invested in VentureBeat.)

The company also announced that it’s releasing an application programming interface that allows device-makers and application developers to add Miso check-in functionality. And it has signed up the Oprah Winfrey Network as its first network partner of the year, with a promotion for the reality show Your OWN Show: Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star.

I’m going to be talking to cofounder and chief executive Somrat Niyogi later today, and I’ll update this post with his comments.

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