Apple is trying to expand its podcast business. Nieman Lab reports that the company just acquired Pop Up Archive, the startup that develops audio tools, including transcription, organization, and search functions and that helped PRX create its web-based archive. Pop Up Archive was also behind the podcast search engine Audiosear.ch. Presumably, Apple bought the company to use its tools to improve the Apple Podcasts search tool. (Now, if only they could just do something about what their iOS 11 update did to the app itself.)
It’s not yet known what Apple paid Pop Up Archive. A notice at Audiosear.ch says, “Hey there! We ended operations and support for Audiosear.ch on 11/28/17. We’ve loved seeing what you’ve built with this technology and are grateful for your support over the years.”
The acquisition comes in the wake of Google’s recent acquisition of 60db, the podcasting app that delivers personalized, short-form audio stories to listeners, which was seen as an entry point for the tech giant into the booming podcast market. And the purchase follows Apple’s announcement a few months ago that it would soon offer podcasters in-episode analytics.
So the podcast wars could be heating up, although Apple still has the edge. According to The New York Times, 65% of podcasts are listened to through Apple’s built-in iPhone app.