Apple is in talks to buy Swell, a startup described as “Pandora for talk radio,” according to several sources.
Swell’s service compiles different podcasts and sorts them into personalized streams, thereby acting as a sort-of podcast recommendation system. The deal would reportedly set Apple back a cool $30 million.
Swell previously described its mission statement as “to be the world’s most relevant and easy-to-use audio news service, bringing the listener the content they want to hear most, wherever they are.”
Apple’s interest in Swell comes on the back off its acquisition of BookLamp, a similarly priced acquisition that was designed to improve Apple’s e-book services. In this case, Swell would likely help Apple augment its iTunes Radio service — particularly since Apple’s existing podcast app generally scores less-than-favorable reviews from users.
Interestingly, Swell had reportedly been beta-testing an Android app, although this was never released to the public, and now likely never will be, since the Swell app is set to shut down this week. Many of the company’s employees, possibly including CEO Ram Ramkumar, are set to join Apple.