Apple acquires BookLamp book recommendation startup

TechCrunch has learned that Apple has made another acquisition, one that it is using to boost its e-books effort and ‘beat Amazon at its own game,'” Josh Constine reports for TechCrunch. “It has bought BookLamp, a startup based out of Boise, Idaho, that developed big data-style book analytics services.”

“A second source says Apple bought BookLamp’s employees and technology for a price that was ‘higher than $10 million, and lower than $15 million,'” Constine reports. “BookLamp’s most well-known product was the Book Genome Project, a platform that let users find suggestions for books to read based on natural language analysis of other titles. BookLamp’s tech and talent could help Apple improve its iBooks service with better recommendations, search, and categorization.”

“BookLamp is Apple’s first acquisition out of Idaho. And it turns out BookLamp had also been in talks with Amazon at one point, but how far they went is not clear. Amazon ultimately went on to acquire GoodReads, another competitor in the book recommendation space, and Apple bought BookLamp,” Constine reports. “Relative to other startup acquisitions, BookLamp went for a modest price. But that understates the company’s ambitions and track record. From what we understand, prior to the acquisition, BookLamp was working on a number of B2B projects alongside its initiative it described as ‘Pandora for books.'”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. What I really would like from iBooks is:
    1. Better sync between devices. Routinely my iPhone and iPad do not sync.
    2. Favorite authors and notification of new content from authors. This would be a great way to keep up with new books from authors.

  2. Um. Jimmy Iovine kept emphasizing “curation” when Apple announced the big Beats buy. My take on the BookLamp buy? Apple and Iovine are just cruising for novel ways to curate anything—not just e-books, or e-tunes. We’re heading for something really momentous in the world of streaming/curating content. Apple stock, anyone?

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