The application Swell, which launched in June of 2013, has just been acquired by the technology tycoon Apple. For a reported $30 million, Apple will take control of the talk radio streaming application. Swell, which functions as a cross between talk radio and Pandora, following the users behavior trends while also allowing for some user editing to create personalized playlists. Podcasts from iTunes, NPR, ABC, ESPN, BBC, CBC, and TED are just some of the more popular examples of what listeners are able to access through Swell.
The Podcast application has been successful, thus far, and has a bright future with the Apple team behind them. Swell already proved it’s worth Apple’s effort when they were able to transition to in vehicle use in a more seamless way than other live streaming apps. It has also earned an average of 4.5 stars out of 5, which blows the Apple Podcast app out of the water, as it has earned a dismal 1.5 stars.
The acquisition of Swell follows a $3.2 billion purchase of Beats Electronics, which kick started Apple’s attempt to impact the music business and audio entertainment in a big way again. Apple’s Podcast app is relatively insignificant, and iTunes Radio was never really able to overtake Pandora. While the Swell application is still available in the app store, it will be taken down this week while the deal details are ironed out. The app was also in the process of creating an Android version of Swell, which will also be put on hold, if not shut down all together.
Apple and Google both seem focused on acquiring companies that pay attention to user behavior and the gathering of data. Both companies are making investments in applications that will continually gather information to make the end-user experience personalized, and the best that the company can offer.
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