Apple buys book recommendation tech, reportedly buying radio app

Apple (AAPL +0.4%) has bought BookLamp, a startup that delivered personalized book recommendations by tagging books based on theme and content (i.e. the book equivalent of Pandora's Music Genome Project).

TechCrunch reports the purchase price was in the $10M-$15M range. BookLamp's technology, which is based on natural language analysis, could be used to improve iBooks' recommendation features and categorization.

Meanwhile, re/code reports Apple is close to buying talk radio/podcast app Swell for ~$30M. Swell offers personalized recommendations for content from sources including iTunes, NPR, ESPN, and BBC.

Swell would complement the music-focused iTunes Radio. It might also serve as a replacement for Apple's oft-criticized Podcasts app (1.5/5 stars in the App Store).

Tim Cook mentioned on the FQ3 CC Apple has closed 5 more acquisitions since the end of FQ2; aside from BookLamp, LuxVue and Spotsetter are the known purchases. The Beats deal is expected to close this quarter.

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Comments (7)
  • scott trader
    , contributor
    Comments (7089) | Send Message
    Carplay future most possible'
    28 Jul 2014, 11:42 AM Reply Like
  • jpintoctr
    , contributor
    Comments (737) | Send Message
    Great for book readers to have a stronger iBook supply with good analytics. Amazon has became a quasi-monopoly publishing hundred of self-help unedited and many unprofessionally write.
    Welcome move
    28 Jul 2014, 11:57 AM Reply Like
  • Bob Sutton
    , contributor
    Comments (84) | Send Message
    Would be curious to know if BookLamp has any patents in natural language analysis or machine categorization that would provide APPL advantages in other applications of search? Book recommendations seem like small fish if the technology can also leverage the semantic web. If so, Apple's target would appear to be GOOG and not simply AMZN.
    28 Jul 2014, 11:59 AM Reply Like
  • MJ Pragmatist
    , contributor
    Comments (418) | Send Message
    Apple needs to replace or further improve the Podcast ap although they have significantly improved it.
    28 Jul 2014, 12:13 PM Reply Like
  • rroo
    , contributor
    Comments (210) | Send Message
    Alpha needs to be more user friendly. Alpha does not seek the best information for long or short stockholders or traders.
    Alpha does search and pay for sensation in order to increase readership: like yellow journalism.
    Michael Blair is an example. His quasi expertise misleads both long and short investors. And Alpha plays along. Months ago I challenged MB to a comparison of his prediction and mine. My article was not printed by Alpha, but my predictions came true. The faulty predictions of Blair were continually printed by Alpha and were proven wrong.
    This is a palpable disservice to investors, and ultimately will destroy Alpha because sooner or later consumers get wise.
    Alpha should do what credit company reporting services do: classify analysts, and weed out losers.
    28 Jul 2014, 05:02 PM Reply Like
  • Brian Barbour
    , contributor
    Comments (1337) | Send Message
    I think Cook's leadership abilities and sharp thinking are highlighted from the acquisitions since he has been CEO. Even though they have more cash than any company they don't squander it like other companies like Google and Facebook have.


    Its almost as if Cook is buying companies like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and they are going to fit together seamlessly to create something amazing.
    28 Jul 2014, 05:48 PM Reply Like
  • Napools
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
    Apple at $60 a few months ago was a steal, sort of like when I bought it in the early 2000's when they were about to be de-listed for not filing required reports timely, then selling = or - $25, Jobs came back and amazing run with innovative operating products to meet consumer wants.
    29 Jul 2014, 12:24 AM Reply Like
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