Apple expected to buy personalized talk radio app Swell for $30 million

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2014
Apple may bolster its streaming media services with the addition of technology and talent from Swell, a personalized news radio application currently available for iPhone, which it is said to have bought for $30 million.




Apple's alleged purchase of Swell was revealed by Re/code, which said the Swell app is expected to be shut down this week after the deal closes. Key to the acquisition is reportedly the simplified user interface that lends itself well to in-car listening.

Swell is a free download on the iOS App Store and is well reviewed, with 436 users giving it an average score of 4 and a half stars out of 5.

The deal could affect Apple's iTunes Radio service, which is a Pandora competitor that recently gained talk radio stations. The technology could also be implemented in Apple's own iOS Podcasts app, which is poorly reviewed by users on the App Store.

Pitching itself as "news radio rebooted," Swell claims to offer "a smart and effortless way to listen on your smartphone." Partners providing content to the app include National Public Radio, ABC News, American Public Media, and Ted.




The Swell app analyzes what users listen to and uses that data to create a personalized podcast stream. The simplified menus allow users to simply hit play and begin hearing content that may be of interest.

News of the alleged deal comes only a few days after Apple confirmed it purchased BookLamp, a sort of "Pandora for Books." That deal closed in April, and was said to be worth $10 million to $15 million.

During Apple's quarterly conference call for the third fiscal quarter of 2014, CEO Tim Cook revealed the company has completed 29 acquisitions over the past nine months, including the purchase of Beats for $3 billion.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,426member
    I bet the demand for degrees in 'curation science' has gone through the roof since Jimmy Iovine turned the concept into the hottest thing around at the moment. I am surprised there are not online courses advertising, with slogans such as 'become a curator of anything and get bought for millions!'
  • Reply 2 of 16
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    I'm always curious why Apple shuts down the apps they purchase. Doesn't that open up the door and force the people who use that app to find an alternative? What if they like that better? It couldn't take much to continue that app in its current form.
  • Reply 3 of 16
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    I bet the demand for degrees in 'curation science' has gone through the roof since Jimmy Iovine turned the concept into the hottest thing around at the moment. I am surprised there are not online courses advertising, with slogans such as 'become a curator of anything and get bought for millions!'

    *excluding museums and cemeteries. :)
  • Reply 4 of 16
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I bet the demand for degrees in 'curation science' has gone through the roof since Jimmy Iovine turned the concept into the hottest thing around at the moment. I am surprised there are not online courses advertising, with slogans such as 'become a curator of anything and get bought for millions billions!'
    Fixed it for you. ;)
  • Reply 5 of 16
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

    I'm always curious why Apple shuts down the apps they purchase.

     

    Because they then create their own service based on it.

  • Reply 6 of 16
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,677member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post



    I bet the demand for degrees in 'curation science' has gone through the roof since Jimmy Iovine turned the concept into the hottest thing around at the moment. I am surprised there are not online courses advertising, with slogans such as 'become a curator of anything and get bought for millions!'

    There is great value in curation. Imagine an are exhibition put together by algorithms. It just couldn't work other than as an exhibit itself :) In terms of radio I believe curation is everything. I love listening to the radio and what keeps me listening are the hosts, who are also the curators of the content they present. There is no technological cheap and easy way away around that. 

  • Reply 7 of 16

    I love Swell, so I would be excited for Apple to acquire it, though very sad if it goes away in a few days-- hopefully I wouldn't have long to wait until it was integrated somehow. I used the app during my commute this morning.

  • Reply 8 of 16
    I bet the demand for degrees in 'curation science' has gone through the roof since Jimmy Iovine turned the concept into the hottest thing around at the moment. I am surprised there are not online courses advertising, with slogans such as 'become a curator of anything and get bought for millions!'

    Ha!

    @digi ...

    That reminds me of an old Bobby Darin song:

    With apologies in advance (gotta go put my dancin' shoes on ... I'm no swimmer, but were she slimmer ...:

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/multiplication/id30394501?i=30394536


    BOBBY DARIN

    Multiplication Multi-curation Lyrics

    When you see a gentleman bee
    Around a lady bee buzzing,
    Just count to ten, then count again:
    There's sure to be an even dozen.

    Multiplication Multi-curation, that's the name of the game.
    And each generation, they play the same.

    Now, there was two butterflies, castin' their eyes
    Both in the same direction.
    You'd never guess that one little "yes"
    Could start a butterfly collection.

    Ah, multiplication multi-curation, that's the name of the game.
    And each generation, uh, they play the same.

    Well, let me tell you now,
    I say one and one is five,
    You can call me a silly goat.
    But you take two minks, add two minks,
    Aaahh, you got uh, one mink coat.

    When a girl gets coy in front of a boy
    After three or four dances,
    Ah, you can just bet she'll play hard-to-get
    To multiply her chances.

    Multiplication Multi-curation, that's the name of the game.
    And each generation, you know they play the same.

    Hear me talkin' to ya!
    Mother Nature's a clever girl,
    She relies on habits.
    You take two hares with no cares,
    Mmm, pretty soon you got a room full of rabbits.

    Parakeets, in between tweets,
    Sometimes get too quiet.
    Uh-oh! But have no fear, 'cause soon you'll hear
    A parakeets' riot. Just try it!

    Multiplication Multi-curation, that's the name of the game.
    And every generation, you know, they play the same.

    Yeah, it's multiplication multi-curation, that's the name of the game.
    And each generation, they play the same.

    They better!

    Lyrics from <a href="http://www.elyrics.net">eLyrics.net</a>
  • Reply 9 of 16
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,426member
    Ha!

    @digi ...

    That reminds me of an old Bobby Darin song:

    With apologies in advance (gotta go put my dancin' shoes on ... I'm no swimmer, but were she slimmer ...:

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/multiplication/id30394501?i=30394536


    BOBBY DARIN

    Multiplication Multi-curation Lyrics

    When you see a gentleman bee
    Around a lady bee buzzing,
    Just count to ten, then count again:
    There's sure to be an even dozen.

    Multiplication Multi-curation, that's the name of the game.
    And each generation, they play the same.

    Now, there was two butterflies, castin' their eyes
    Both in the same direction.
    You'd never guess that one little "yes"
    Could start a butterfly collection.

    Ah, multiplication multi-curation, that's the name of the game.
    And each generation, uh, they play the same.

    Well, let me tell you now,
    I say one and one is five,
    You can call me a silly goat.
    But you take two minks, add two minks,
    Aaahh, you got uh, one mink coat.

    When a girl gets coy in front of a boy
    After three or four dances,
    Ah, you can just bet she'll play hard-to-get
    To multiply her chances.

    Multiplication Multi-curation, that's the name of the game.
    And each generation, you know they play the same.

    Hear me talkin' to ya!
    Mother Nature's a clever girl,
    She relies on habits.
    You take two hares with no cares,
    Mmm, pretty soon you got a room full of rabbits.

    Parakeets, in between tweets,
    Sometimes get too quiet.
    Uh-oh! But have no fear, 'cause soon you'll hear
    A parakeets' riot. Just try it!

    Multiplication Multi-curation, that's the name of the game.
    And every generation, you know, they play the same.

    Yeah, it's multiplication multi-curation, that's the name of the game.
    And each generation, they play the same.

    They better!

    Lyrics from <a href="http://www.elyrics.net">eLyrics.net</a>

    LMAO
  • Reply 10 of 16
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,426member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Fixed it for you. ;)

    You are right! My bad! :D
  • Reply 11 of 16
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,426member
    andysol wrote: »
    I'm always curious why Apple shuts down the apps they purchase. Doesn't that open up the door and force the people who use that app to find an alternative? What if they like that better? It couldn't take much to continue that app in its current form.

    Yep, at least until they are ready with the new incarnation and then offer a nice email to existing owners that it is ending and explain, 'here is what we've done with it now.'

    ... This sudden death part way through an app's life is too much like a good TV series on ABC! :D
  • Reply 12 of 16
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,527member
    andysol wrote: »
    I'm always curious why Apple shuts down the apps they purchase. Doesn't that open up the door and force the people who use that app to find an alternative? What if they like that better? It couldn't take much to continue that app in its current form.

    Yep, at least until they are ready with the new incarnation and then offer a nice email to existing owners that it is ending and explain, 'here is what we've done with it now.'

    ... This sudden death part way through an app's life is too much like a good TV series on ABC! :D

    FWIW, the best TV series I've seen in a long time is Downton Abbey.

    ? AAPL > 100 NSDate
  • Reply 13 of 16
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,527member
    dup!
  • Reply 14 of 16
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

     

    Because they then create their own service based on it.


    Of course- I meant before they release their new iteration of it.

     

    Without looking up the exact names:

    Example- the app sorting application company they bought- they were going to use that technology in their own search feature in the app store.  Why not keep that app around until they add it into their app store- then shut it down?

     

    Same thing here- why not keep Swell, and when they add personalized talk radio in iTunes Radio, then shut it down?  Otherwise- every current Swell subscriber is now looking for an alternative- likely Pandora.  Why give them the option to start using a competitor?

  • Reply 15 of 16
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,426member
    FWIW, the best TV series I've seen in a long time is Downton Abbey.

    ? AAPL > 100 NSDate

    OMG it's nearly there! YESSSS!!!!!

    Sherlock is good too. I'm waiting for Netflix to re run The Avengers .... mmmm Mrs Peel :)
  • Reply 16 of 16
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,527member
    FWIW, the best TV series I've seen in a long time is Downton Abbey.

    ? AAPL > 100 NSDate

    OMG it's nearly there! YESSSS!!!!!

    Sherlock is good too. I'm waiting for Netflix to re run The Avengers .... mmmm Mrs Peel :)


    I've refactored the formula, so it runs in a Swift Playground:
    let AAPLsharePrice = <Int>
    
    (AAPLsharePrice > 99 ? println("???? Laissez les bon temps rouler") : println("????"))
    

    Ah yes ... the stunning Mrs Peel:

    1000
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