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Google buys 60db to elbow its way to front of the podcast industry

Google buys 60db to elbow its way to front of the podcast industry
[Photo: Mike Wilson]

Google seems to have figured out that podcasting is the next big thing, and to push their way to the front of the pack, they have purchased 60db, the podcasting app that delivers personalized, short-form audio stories to listeners. According to Business Insider, Google bought the company for an undisclosed sum and will be shutting down the service next month. The company’s founders, radio reporter Steve Henn and two Netflix veterans, John Ciancutti and Steve McLendon, will be moving into new roles in Google, per their farewell post. Not bad for a public radio reporter looking to “preempt his own irrelevance,” as he told Fast Company last year.

Google has been a bit of a late bloomer in the podcast world, launching their first original content only this past March, releasing City Soundtracks on Google Play Music, the company’s music subscription service. They seem to have found their niche in delivering personalized content to listeners on Google Play Music, which is why 60db is such a natural acquisition for them. Google’s purchase of 60db seems to imply they are taking the whole podcasting thing a bit more seriously now, but they face an uphill climb as, according to The New York Times, 65% of podcasts are listened to through Apple’s built-in iPhone app.ML