iTunes Radio set for shake-up after Apple's $30m Swell purchase

Apple's shopping spree shows no sign of letting up as the firm looks set to purchase radio news app Swell for an estimated $30 million (£17.6 million).

According to a report by Re/Code, Apple will acquire the entire company, including its staff. The Swell app, in its current form at least, will be removed from the App Store later this week.

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The application compiles podcasts and other audio streams into a custom radio station tailored for each user. Initial customer feedback has been largely positive with the app receiving a four-and-a-half starts out of five rating.

Swell has also received major financial backing in the past, with the startup benefiting from the Google Ventures programme.

It is thought that one of the reasons for the purchase is to help Apple improve its own in-house radio service. Since launching last year, iTunes Radio has received a largely negative response from users, receiving only one-and-a-half stars out of five.

The purchase of Swell is the latest in a series of company acquisitions by Apple.

Earlier this year, Apple bought BookLamp, a startup that developed an analytics service, which is likely to be used to improve the book search and recommendation feature in the firm's iBooks application. The deal was believed to have cost $10-15 million.

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One of the most notable buy-outs to have occurred in the last 12 months is Apple's purchase of Beats for $3 billion (£1.76 billion). The company, which is still operating under its own brand, became an attractive purchase for Apple after gaining significant traction in the audio market.