Apple: Swell Maps


More requisition speculation, as Apple goes shopping again, this time off Beats and off the rack, making a reported $30m move for personalised talk radio app Swell.

According to The Guardian via Recode, the deal will see Swell’s Chief Executive Ram Ramkumar and other key members of its team join Apple and its current free app and service will shut down this week.

Swell previously raised $7.2m in funding from Google Ventures amongst others for the app that provided a personalised radio service using podcasts and live streaming radio.

It has been described as “Pandora for talk radio” as it tracks the listening habits of users, suggesting and building a personalised radio experience orientated towards listening in the car- the next big streaming battle space as all majors providers scramble to provide a listening experience that is four wheels good.

Apple is clearly seeking to add functionality and incorporate features of Swell into its existing iTunes radio and podcast apps.

In related news, regulators in Europe this week approved Apple’s purchase of Beats. The latest deal will no doubt fuel speculation that Apple doesn’t innovate so much these days but simply snaps up the smartest minds and services already out there to improve its existing offerings.

Speaking of Pandora, the Internet Radio service this week announced that its listener hours exceeded 5 billion in the second quarter of 2014 with revenues up over 40% year-on-year despite losses increasing from $6.9m to $11.7m year on year.

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