Confirmed: Apple acquires podcast recommendation app Swell


It was recently reported that Apple was buying Swell, an iPhone app that took a Pandora approach to playing podcasts. The acquisition was said to cost around $30 million, and the app has since been taken off the App Store.

Now Apple has confirmed the buy, which bodes well for its own Podcasts app.

The boilerplate statement Apple always gives to confirm company acquisitions was shared with a reporter for The Wall Street Journal this afternoon:

A farewell message is displayed on Swell’s website:

Thank you for using Swell over the past year. We wanted to let you know that the Swell service is no longer available. We’ve been inspired by the opportunity to create quality products that positively impact users’ lives, and we are grateful to all our listeners. Thank you everyone for your support!

Swell created smart playlists for podcasts/talk radio, and it had an interface designed primarily for use while driving. Apple’s own Podcasts app, which will be preinstalled with iOS 8, has plenty of poor reviews in the App Store and could clearly use some work. Swell had an average rating of 4.5/5 stars before it was pulled.

  • Kunal Grover

    Sad about Stitcher – they were a front runner in the podcast recommendation business. Personally I am a big swell fan. I guess it must be the price that tilted the table.

  • Chris Jones

    Still so pissed came back from Vacation to see they pulled the app and support. Trying to find a substitute.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a journalist and co-host of The CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." He lives in Lexington, Kentucky. If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Follow him on Twitter.

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