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Apple confirms it bought podcast curation app Scout FM earlier this year

It could mean new AI features for its Podcast and other apps.
The Apple logo on display at the Sydney Apple Store is illuminated in red to mark World AIDS Day, in Sydney December 1, 2014. Apple stores across the world will display similar colored logos, with the Sydney store being the first. World AIDS Day is observed annually on December 1, which helps to raise awareness about AIDS and the spread of HIV.      REUTERS/David Gray      (AUSTRALIA - Tags: SOCIETY BUSINESS LOGO TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
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Steve Dent
Steve Dent|@stevetdent|September 25, 2020 4:41 AM

Apple has purchased Scout FM, an app that makes it easy to find podcasts tailored to your tastes, according to Bloomberg. Rather than just letting you choose individual podcasts, Scout FM curates them based on your listening history. Much like YouTube or TikTok, its AI algorithms adjust to your preferences over time, removing things you tend to skip.

Apple confirmed the acquisition, which reportedly happened earlier this year. The app used to be available on iOS (including CarPlay), Android and Alexa, but Apple shut it down on all platforms shortly after the deal was made.

Podcasts have always been popular on Apple devices, and it has had a dedicated app since 2012. Apple has also recently started develop and purchase its own exclusive podcasts to better compete with Spotify, which recently bought the exclusive rights to a show from popular comedian and radio personality Joe Rogan.

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Apple’s Podcast app works mostly on an à la carte basis, where you manually pick, subscribe and listen to podcasts. With the acquisition, Apple may introduce features that can surface and autoplay content relevant to your tastes. That would make for a more hands-off approach and allow you to discover content you might not otherwise see — much like Apple Music can now do.

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Apple confirms it bought podcast curation app Scout FM earlier this year