The Internet is buzzing with news that Apple is about to buy podcast/streaming-media service Swell for about $30 million. Swell has been billed as a “Pandora for spoken-word content,” the service provides a personalized listening experience based on a listener’s individual preferences. Swell is different from most other podcast apps in that it focuses solely on news and talk content. In fact, it’s not even possible to use Swell as a traditional podcatcher. Any content not currently carried by Swell has to be approved and added to the service by Swell staff.
Most of Swell’s current staff are expected to be asked to join Apple. And apparently, the team was working on an Android version of Swell. But that will likely be abandoned.
It’s hard to say for sure what Apple will do with Swell but the app is projected to be shutdown as part of the deal. Apple will probably fold Swell’s technology into its existing apps and services. With the news that the Apple Podcasts app will be a standard fixture in iOS 8, Apple is probably doing everything it can to improve the lackluster app.
Whether you like Apple or not, the company continues to show its commitment to podcasting. The addition of Swell’s discovery tools to Apple’s existing podcast apps/services could really help podcasters to reach new listeners.
BREAKING: Since the time I started typing this post, the Swell website has gone offline and now only displays this message:
“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!”
This pretty much confirms the rumors that something big is happening with Swell.
Posted by Shawn Thorpe