Report: Apple to Buy Talk Show Streaming Service

Apple is close to purchasing Swell, an app that streams radio talk shows. The purchase may improve the radio streaming tools on iTunes and help overcome competition from Pandora.
Apple is close to purchasing Swell, an app that streams radio talk shows. The purchase may improve the radio streaming tools on iTunes and help overcome competition from Pandora.

As Apple moves to expand its audio offerings, the company has gone on a spending spree to improve upon its existing iTunes services. One upcoming deal could give users a way to stream radio talk shows.

The technology site re/code broke the news Monday that Apple is close to purchasing Swell, an app that streams radio talk shows. The deal is rumored to be about $30 million.

Apple has thus far failed to overcome competition from services like Pandora, which lets users stream music for free. As Pandora has cultivated a loyal base of users drawn to its customizable content, Apple has struggled to keep up.

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Purchasing Swell might make Apple more competitive. The app brings a streamlined interface, which, like Pandora, responds to the preferences of customers.

Swell lets users input topic preferences and then customizes radio talk show channels to those preferences. Users can swipe right to switch between radio stations.

The interface is far easier to navigate than the current podcast streaming service on iTunes.

The purchase speaks to a broader push by Apple to offer more customizable content. The company has purchased several companies that could give iTunes an edge over companies like Pandora.

Apple recently bought Beats, a $3 billion deal designed to boost the customizable content available through iTunes. The pricey headphones also curate playlists tailored to what users are doing at the time.

Only a few days ago, Apple also announced that it was going to purchase Booklight, a company that gives users unique recommendations for ebooks.

Although the Booklight purchase speaks to a fight on the digital reading front, it also shows another way Apple is looking to customize its content along the lines of services like Pandora.

Re/code reports that Swell will likely put its operations on hold as it is integrated into the Apple framework. Most of the Swell staff with join the Apple team.