Apple Ready to Buy Swell Talk Show App in $30M Deal

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The radio news talk show listening app Swell is about to be snapped up by Apple in a US$30 million deal. Swell is known for its ability to build custom news playlists with content from sources such NPR, BBC, and ABC and play back that content through its iPhone app.

Apple buying Swell news radio appApple buying Swell news radio app

Insider sources speaking with Re/code said the deal is close to wrapping up, and one of the stipulations is that Swell will shut down its app some time this week.

Assuming Apple does complete the deal, it'll have a new tool for news discovery and customization in its tool box. Swell's technology could be used to improve podcast discovery, too, and potentially improve Apple's own poorly received Podcasts app.

News of the Swell deal follows Apple's confirmation that it purchased BookLamp last week. BookLamp's claim to fame was its ability to recommend books to read by parsing the words in other titles through its Book Genome Project. The service shut down following Apple's buyout and there isn't any word yet on exactly how the company plans on using BookLamp's technology.

The BookLamp staff is already on Apple's payroll, and Swell's team is expected to stay on after its purchase, too.

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First Apple buys BookLamp, and now it's about to close a deal with Swell. Purchases like these sure make it look like Apple wants to find a better way for consumers to discover online content and books.

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I’m enthused about these acquisitions and look forward to Apple’s implementation of their technologies.  I set alarms to remind me to listen to NPR news on the hour, and being able to hear news when I want it sounds great. And I’ve long wanted referrals to books based on books I’ve enjoyed. In the same way Netflix used to refer movies to subscribers: “because you liked…”

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