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Apple Acquired Podcast App Scout FM Earlier This Year

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In order to continue improving its Podcast offerings experience, Apple earlier this year purchased podcast app Scout FM, reports Bloomberg.


The website for Scout FM is now defunct, but it was available on iPhones, Android devices, and Amazon smart speakers. Scout FM generated podcast stations covering various topics, similar to a radio station but for a podcast experience.

A person could select a specific topic and then find podcasts related to that topic, with the service also offering up recommendations based on listening history and personal preference. TechCrunch explained how it worked in 2018:
Scout.fm wants to change the way people listen to podcasts. Instead of scouring through the over 500,000 shows in your current podcast app, this startup's new curated podcast service will just ask you a few questions to find out what you like, then create a podcast station customized to you. The experience is primarily designed for use on smart speakers, like Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo devices, but is also available as iOS and Android applications.
According to Bloomberg, Scout FM was a popular iPhone podcast app that worked with CarPlay, plus it was available for Alexa-based devices.

An Apple spokesperson confirmed the purchase to Bloomberg with Apple's standard acquisition statement, but did not provide details on how the app's technology will be used.

Apple competitor Spotify has been making significant investments into the podcasting space, which has also spurred Apple to make updates. Apple plans to improve its podcast offerings through original podcast content that will be exclusive to the Podcasts app.

Apple plans to create audio spinoffs of some of its original television and movie content, but it is also seeking to purchase original podcast programs that could also tie into future Apple TV+ shows.

Article Link: Apple Acquired Podcast App Scout FM Earlier This Year
 

rp2011

macrumors 68000
Oct 12, 2010
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Sometimes you get fascinated by a topic and want to listen to what the folks most devoted by said topic have to say. It sounds like a great feature
 
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jinnj

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Dec 9, 2011
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I use/like Overcast.app except it has subpar search capabilities. This could be the feature that will make me jump back to the Apple Podcast.app.
 
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caliguy

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Jun 12, 2005
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I would love Podcasts to have a transcription of every single podcast in the directory. Would take enormous cloud computing power, but Apple seems the best equipped to do so.
It would be amazing to find exactly who spoke what about whatever niche topic you're interested in. Even cooler if they parse out the data of who is speaking. Think: "Hey Siri, jump to that Joe Rogan podcast when Edward Norton talks about martial arts".
 
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Juiceboy

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Mar 10, 2011
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I feel like I found the 5 podcasts I want to listen to like 8 years ago and don't want to add anything new.

This, I don't want new NON STOP PODCAST shoved down my throat. i'm happy with my 3-4 i listen to every week and that's enough for me.
 
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pasamio

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Jan 22, 2020
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I feel like I found the 5 podcasts I want to listen to like 8 years ago and don't want to add anything new.

I'm much the same, there are only so many hours in the day to listen to podcasts. Though I have issues with the Apple Podcasts app mysteriously deleting podcasts out of my backlog and then needing to be sync'd back from my desktop.
 
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ThunderSkunk

macrumors 68040
Dec 31, 2007
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In order to continue improving its Podcast offerings experience, Apple earlier this year purchased podcast app Scout FM,

An Apple spokesperson confirmed the purchase to Bloomberg with Apple's standard acquisition statement, but did not provide details on how the app's technology will be used.

Great, now maybe Apple can relearn how to design a podcast app & UI that actually works again. Every release of iOS, the podcast app remains broken in the same basic ways and the UI gets messier and less coherent.

Grab iOS device, jump in the car, no podcasts are actually downloaded. Ever.sit there for 5vminutes waiting for one to download, start playing it, stop & get out for gas, resume playing, iPad plays music instead, has no idea a podcast was ever playing. Siri? Siri has never heard of the podcasts app, & wants to play music instead. Dad where did the fast forward & rewind buttons go? Hang on you have to tap that little corner area down here and then this bigger window pops up with those basic controls tucked away in there. the slider is 1 pixel wide, good luck hitting that while I’m driving.

The Podcasts app looks like it was designed by an engineer and works like it was engineered by a designer.
 
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danny842003

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Jun 6, 2017
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This, I don't want new NON STOP PODCAST shoved down my throat. i'm happy with my 3-4 i listen to every week and that's enough for me.

Who’s shoving them down your throat? This sounds essentially like radio stations in Apple Music. You can still just listen to a single track or album.
 
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recoil80

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Jul 16, 2014
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I liked podcasts until they started interjecting Ads every 5 minutes..

Some podcasts are experimenting with membership, I guess ads money is down and they need a stable income.
I don't mind ads actually, many of the podcasts I listen to have chapters and ads are usually between two chapters so when I start hearing a commercial I skip to the next chapter and only hear a few seconds of the ad. If the episode doesn't have chapters, I just press the 30s button a couple of times so I skip a minute.

Anyway, since the pandemic started I've been working from home and without a commute I have less time for my podcasts. I'm only listening to the ones I really care about, so an AI suggesting me new stuff is useless at the moment, but even after the pandemic I guess I'll just add some of the podcasts I removed recently.
 
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gene731

macrumors regular
Oct 28, 2015
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I'm much the same, there are only so many hours in the day to listen to podcasts. Though I have issues with the Apple Podcasts app mysteriously deleting podcasts out of my backlog and then needing to be sync'd back from my desktop.
That’s why i quit listening to podcasts, the so many hours in a day. I subscribed once to Red Eye Radio but quickly found out as I can’t listen to stuff at work do not have a car radio with CarPlay or an aux jack I could not keep up and on my one or 2 days off weekly I had other things to get caught up on so kind of just lost interest in the podcast thing. That’s just me though.
 
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PickUrPoison

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Sep 12, 2017
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Scout FM? Never heard of them. Must not have been very popular
Since when does popularity have anything whatsoever to do with a company’s value (as acquihire and/or IP) to Apple? I’ll wager most have not heard of many/all of Apple’s acquisitions. That’s not really of any relevance.

Scout FM apparently have a recommendation engine for podcasts that Apple thinks it and its customers will benefit from. Wanting it to be exclusively available to the iOS platform also likely played a not insignificant part.
 
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PickUrPoison

macrumors 604
Sep 12, 2017
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UGH - Apple, Spotify - leave podcasts alone! Not everything needs to be:

a) monetised
b) exclusive
c) subscription based
I think podcasters want monetization, they’re fine with exclusivity and subs are where the money is—especially if you don’t want commercials every 5 minutes as @vicviper789 mentions above. Two podcasts referenced in this thread, Joe Rogan Exp. and Chapo Trap House are examples.

It’s not 2003, podcasts have grown up. Why should they have to be on YouTube or hope for patreon donations to survive?

Rest assured, there are still plenty of podcasters doing it just for the love of it. They don’t have to monetize if they don’t want to 🤷‍♂️
 
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