Apple Acquired 'Pandora for Books' Startup BookLamp In April

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Apple has acquired BookLamp, a "Pandora for books" startup that aimed to provide personalized book recommendations to readers via specialized algorithms, reports TechCrunch. BookLamp first shut down in April.

BookLamp was known for its Book Genome project, a book discovery engine that analyzed the text of books to break them down by various themes and variables to let readers search for books similar to books they liked.

For example, analyzing The Da Vinci Code, the search engine would break it down to elements of 18.6% Religion and Religions Institutions, 9.4% Police & Murder Investigation, 8.2% Art and Art Galleries, and 6.7% Secret Societies and Communities, and then it would be able to recommend a book similar to The Da Vinci Code based on that data.

BookLamp screenshot via Mashable

This type of analytics service could be directly used to improve recommendations and search in iBooks, and as noted by TechCrunch, BookLamp's technology could be used to create a competitor to Amazon X-Ray, which lets readers see where in the book certain terms or characters appear.

BookLamp also provided content analysis services to a number of e-book distributors like Amazon, Apple, and other publishers, screening books for categorization and providing a platform for publishers to screen manuscripts. The acquisition will see Apple ramping up its focus on books, according to one source with knowledge of the acquisition.
Part of the reason that Apple made the move to acquire BookLamp was because of this long list of clients. "At first Apple and BookLamp talked about growing their contract, but then they talked more from a strategic standpoint," a source says. "What Apple wanted to do was, instead of contract, they wanted to make sure whatever work was done was done just for them."

And what is that work? The details are not clear yet, but the source says, "in broad strokes, the goal that [founder Aaron] Stanton and three of the folks he was working with from the original BookLamp crew is to beat Amazon at their own game."
BookLamp was purchased for a sum between $10 million and $15 million and while Apple has yet to confirm the purchase, a large amount evidence gathered by TechCrunch suggests several former BookLamp employees have relocated to Cupertino and are now working for Apple.

Update 6:30 PM PT: Apple has confirmed the purchase of BookLamp, giving Re/code its standard statement on purchases: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

Article Link: Apple Acquired 'Pandora for Books' Startup BookLamp In April
 

troop231

macrumors 603
Jan 20, 2010
5,665
371
Scared me for a second, am I the only one who initially thought it said: "Apple acquires Pandora..." :eek:
 

Worf

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2010
198
8
Pretty cool startup actually. Hope Apple implements them well into iBooks
 

Branskins

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2008
1,233
178
Seems like a very good idea. I love using iBooks so anything that makes it even better would be great! ;)
 

goobot

macrumors 603
Jun 26, 2009
5,764
2,511
long island NY
Is there a chart that shows percentages of each online store's control over the ebook market? I would like to see how apple stands up to the others out there.
 

kas23

macrumors 603
Oct 28, 2007
5,627
291
Pretty cool startup actually. Hope Apple implements them well into iBooks
Yes, it was. Also looks like Apple was quick to shut it down too. And looking at the fruits of Apple's purchases over the last few years, I doubt we'll reap the benefits of this service anytime soon.
 

RedOrchestra

Suspended
Aug 13, 2012
2,623
3,237
I don't need iBooks recommending books to me I need Apple to cut a deal with the publishers so that I can cut and paste from books into research papers.

This purchase looks pretty useless to me.
 

lowercaseperson

macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2006
294
87
As an avid Audible subscriber - I am curious as to how much profit there is in written word. I'm also in grad school, so I know how much books cost, but when I do any "reading" outside of school it's in my car or while I mow the lawn using audible.
 

4jasontv

macrumors 68040
Jul 31, 2011
3,146
3,174
This type of analytics service could be directly used to improve recommendations and search in iBooks, and as noted by TechCrunch, BookLamp's technology could be used to create a competitor to Amazon X-Ray, which lets readers see where in the book certain terms or characters appear.
I sure hope the USPTO approves my application for Command-F.
 

TsMkLg068426

macrumors 65816
Mar 31, 2009
1,437
306
Scared me for a second, am I the only one who initially thought it said: "Apple acquires Pandora..." :eek:


Same here and if that really happened: OH MY. All there would be left is Spotify and Amazon Prime Music the big timers at the moment.
 

Traverse

macrumors 604
Mar 11, 2013
6,917
3,225
Here
Seems like an interesting acquisition, but at a glance I thought it was "Apple acquires Pandora...".
I was about to say...that will help iTunes Radio.

I'm glad Apple is trying to compete on these fronts. I don't know how iBooks compares to Amazon or Google books (I would assume its much smaller), but good to see them working on it.

Between Apple Maps, iBooks, iTunes, etc it seems like they are trying to become completely self sufficient, which has its advantages to be sure, but economies grow with specialization of labor. Apple needs to embrace experts and not try to BE the expert at everything.
 

PocketSand11

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2014
688
1
~/
"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." Isn't that the phrase everyone here keeps quoting, like the legendary "Safari feels snappier"? :)
 

Ent

macrumors regular
Jun 24, 2009
175
42
Am I the only one who thought that was a pop-up on MR and tried closing it?
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,830
2,351
Scared me for a second, am I the only one who initially thought it said: "Apple acquires Pandora..." :eek:
That may not have been so bad. I don't know how Pandora will do on their own over the longer term, in spite of being exceptionally cool. What I like is that it gets you to listen to different things more than spotify.
 

Firelock

macrumors member
Sep 7, 2012
85
69
Dallas, Texas
As an avid Audible subscriber - I am curious as to how much profit there is in written word. I'm also in grad school, so I know how much books cost, but when I do any "reading" outside of school it's in my car or while I mow the lawn using audible.
I like audio books but I must say that I find it odd that a graduate student can't see the value of the printed word. For one thing most audiobooks are abridged. Are you not curious about what is missing? Many books have maps, charts, illustrations, photos and other visual data that doesn't translate to audio at all. I often pause and ruminate over particular passages in printed books, contemplating either the beauty of the prose or the underlying meaning. With audiobooks this is impossible as the narration barrels ahead. Anyway, since you are budding academic I would ask that you consider these points.
 

powerstrokin

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2013
696
1
Interesting concept. I wonder how/if this will play out in regards to analyzing what people post online to determine their thought patterns and intent. They ARE working on that...you know.. for our 'safety'.
 
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