Apple moves further in the acquisition game. Today, European regulators approved Beats acquisition. Now Apple moves on to the next one. Apple buys Swell, a Pandora-like radio news-station. You choose your favorite news station and over time, the app learns and delivers your preferences. But it seems that Apple bought Swell mostly for the team behind the ingenious app. Apple will shut-down Swell in just a week after the acquisition and many users will probably be upset. The price Apple will pay for Swell is an alleged $30 million. Swell has only been available on iOS, but the developers prepared a beta version for Android.
Curated content is trending right now. Google recently bought Songza, a streaming service offering human-curated playlists. Apple also made another smaller acquisition. BookLamp now belongs to Apple for around $10 to $15 million. There is so much information on the internet right now that selection services are more important than ever. The Book Genome Project aimed at mapping themes in all the world’s books. The app makes book recommendations much easier. Thus, BookLamp will be an asset for Apple’s iBookstore in the fight with Amazon’s Kindle Store.
Apple buys Swell and continues the long string of acquisitions
This year has been a good one so far for Apple. The company “completed 29 acquisitions since the beginning of fiscal year 2013, including five since the end of the March quarter,”, PCmag cites. Beats was not included in the count. Apple’s business figures grew substantially and iPhone 6 and iTime (or iWatch?) have not even been launched yet.
Podcasts are drivers’ best friends and Swell was well suited for the job. Unfortunately, the app did not manage to gather an important user base. Apple practically bought the competition to shut it down, because the company already developed its own podcast app. Recode points that the users of Apple’s podcast are not satisfied at all with the app, which has very low ratings of Apple App Store. Compared with Apple’s Podcast, which has 1.5 stars, Swell is doing quite ok with 4.5 stars. Maybe Swell’s team will work on this project and a fortified Apple podcast app will emerge soon. When Apple does not manage to produce a premium or at least respectable service, it buys the company who will. The fact that Apple buys Swell is just a confirmation and continuation of a straight-forward policy.