Apple to acquire ‘Pandora for Talk Radio’ app Swell for $30 million

Swell Radio

Apple is close to acquiring Swell, the Pandora for talk-radio service for $30 million, according to Re/code.

Swell released an iPhone app last year, which allows users to stream audio from NPR, ABC, ESPN, BBC, CBC, TED and more.

Swell’s iPhone app has received positive reviews and was featured in Time’s 50 Best iPhone Apps of 2013. You can download the Swell Radio app using this direct iTunes link to check it out.

Re/code reports that Swell had raised $7.2 million from investors so far including DFJ, Google Ventures and InterWest Partners.

The report also claims that Swell will shut down its service this week as CEO Ram Ramkumar and other members of the team will join Apple. Apple is likely to use Swell’s technology to improve its Podcast app, which is one of Apple’s most poorly rated apps and widely criticized for performance issues.

This would be Apple’s third acquisition in the content space in a fairly short timespan. It recently acquired book recommendation service BookLamp for $10 – $15 million in April, which is known as the “Pandora for books,” and Beats for $3 billion.

During the Q3 earnings call, Apple revealed that it had acquired 29 companies since the beginning of fiscal 2013, and five of those acquisitions have come since the end of the March quarter, 2014.

As of this writing, Apple or Ramkumar hasn’t commented on the report.

[via Re/code]