Apple is buying radio news app Swell for around $30m, in what appears to be a move to improve its iTunes Radio service.
A report by Re/Code, suggests that Apple will acquire the whole company, including Swell's current staff. The purchase will mean the Swell app, in its current form, will be shut down and removed from Apple's App Store later this week.
V3 approached Apple for further clarification on the deal but has yet to receive a response.
The Swell app compiles podcasts and other audio content into a custom radio stream for its users. It has proved popular on the App Store, recieving a rating of four-and-a-half stars out of five from nearly 1,000 reviews.
Interestingly, Swell received financial support from Apple's main rival Google, which part-funded the startup via its Google Ventures programme.
Apple already has its own in-house radio service, but a crippling customer rating of one-and-a-half stars in the App Store means the company needs to find a better way to present radio content to its users.
This year has been somewhat of a corporate shopping spree for Apple, as it has also purchased two companies this year, albeit for wildly different prices.
In a deal rumoured to have cost between $10m and $15m, Apple acquired BookLamp, a startup that developed pseudo big data analytics services, in what would appear to be a move to improve its iBooks services with better book search and recommendations for users.
One of the largest deals Apple has made this year was the purchase of audio and headphone brand Beats in May, which cost the company $3bn. Made famous by rapper Dr Dre and music producer Jimmy Iovine, Beats gained significant traction in the audio market, making the company an attractive purchase for Apple.
Unlike its other purchases, Apple has not yet incorporated Beats into its own brand. Instead Apple is leaving Beats hardware and audio-streaming products to operate under its own banner.
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