Apple is in talks to purchase Swell, a mobile app startup that produces a personalized stream of podcasts for iPhone, according to a report from Re/code. Unnamed sources close to the deal said that it could be worth $30 million.
While there are no shortage of podcasts available to download, including GeekWire’s own weekly radio show, people who are just getting started with podcasts could find the massive catalog daunting and hard to process. Swell’s automated suggestions could provide a way for more people to get started in the podcast market.
If the deal goes through, users of Swell’s app are sure to be disappointed, since the app would be shut down as a part of the acquisition. It stands to be a boon to users of Apple’s Podcasts app, though, since the acquisition could bring Swell’s ability to transform a library full of podcasts into a curated stream to a broader audience.
In addition, the move could allow Apple to bolster the talk radio offerings through its iTunes Radio streaming service. Earlier this year, the company started streaming content from NPR, and Swell’s tech could power personalized stations based on podcasts.
A Swell acquisition would be in line with the company’s interest in companies that curate and suggest media for interested consumers. Earlier this year, Apple bought Beats Music, which is known for its extensive curation of the streaming music, as well as BookLamp, a startup that tracks content in texts to provide users with suggestions about other titles they might like.