Apple is diving deeper into the podcast business, with yet another silent acquisition that it seems to have made. According to a report by Bloomberg, podcasting platform Scout FM has been snapped up by Apple, and the deal apparently happened earlier this year. Exact details of the transaction have not been revealed.
An Apple spokesperson has confirmed the purchase of Scout FM. The podcast startup ceased its operations post the acquisition.
Apple has been into the podcast fight for quite some time. However, the Cupertino-giant, despite all its clout and influence, hasn’t been able to secure many original content deals, specially the way market leader Spotify has done. Hence, this acquisition could be Apple’s approach to level the playing field.. Integration of Scout FM in its own Apple Podcasts can be a huge boost for Apple in podcasting content, given that the company has been a key player in this area for 15 years.
Scout FM was the right target acquisition for Apple, specially since it was becoming very popular among Apple, Android and Alexa-based devices. The startup offered podcasts in a more simple, sophisticated and categorized manner, contrary to what Apple or Spotify does. Instead of giving users the choice to pick an individual podcast, Scout FM offers channels and stations of various podcast topics, very similar to a radio concept. These topics range from sports, technology, entertainment to entrepreneurship, politics and etc. If a user chooses a specific station, they will come across a mix of podcasts on that topic.
The platform also uses Artificial intelligence to determine a user’s listening habits and preferences and curates a customized playlist for them. Scout FM also ran on smart speakers such as Amazon Alexa, and in fact, it started its journey with experiments on the smart speakers. The Alexa version came with 30 Alexa skills that included a station theme based on Game of Thrones.