Why Apple (AAPL) Acquired Scout FM Earlier This Year

By Amit Chowdhry ● September 25, 2020
  • Earlier this year, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) acquired a company that makes listening to podcasts feel like you are tuning into radio stations. These are the details.

Earlier this year Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) acquired a company that makes listening to podcasts feel like you are tuning into radio stations, according to sources with Bloomberg. This acquisition is expected to help drive improvements in Apple’s Podcasts app for iOS and macOS. Scout FM has been a popular podcast app on iOS, Android, and Amazon Alexa prior to the acquisition. 

A majority of podcast apps allow users to select individual podcasts to listen to. But Scout FM allows users to create podcast stations based on their interests. Topics could include sports, politics, and news. And Scout FM curates podcasts based on your listening history. After Apple acquired Scout FM, it was shut down.

For Apple TV+, Apple is in the process of launching original podcasts. Apple’s largest rival in the podcasting space is Spotify. Spotify has been spending hundreds of millions of dollars for original podcast programming and exclusive rights. Spotify recently signed Joe Rogan and the Obamas for exclusive programming.

Some of the other acquisitions Apple made this year include payments company Mobeewave, a weather app called Dark Sky, and a VR content company called NextVR. And to order its artificial intelligence technology, Apple also acquired Voysis, Xnor.ai, and Inductiv this year.

Scout FM founders Cara Meverden, Daniel McCartney, and Saul Carlin still list Scout FM as their employer on LinkedIn profiles instead of Apple so I’m assuming the acquisition happened fairly recently. Before launching Scout FM, the three of them worked at Medium.com around the same time. 

Disclosure: I own a few dozen shares of Apple in my portfolio