Apple buys podcast search startup Pop Up Archive

“Apple’s played a central role in podcast since its earliest days — heck, even the term was borrowed from its big hardware product at the time,” Brian Heater reports for TechCrunch. “But the company’s marketshare appears to have eroded somewhat as players like Google and Spotify have entered the market, reportedly down from 70-percent of podcast downloads in 2015 to 55-percent in 2017.”

“This morning, the Hot Pod newsletter reported that the company had picked up a small Bay Area-based startup called Pop Up Archive in what appears to the be an effort to build up its in-house podcasting tools,” Heater reports. “The startup abruptly closed up shop late last month, a day after posting message on Twitter asking users to download all of their content before then.”

“iTunes and the iPhone Podcast app could greatly benefit from additional contextual search,” Heater writes. “It would go a long way toward finding and recommending content via the service”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Pop Up Archive allowed users to upload audio files and the service would provide machine transcription and, importantly, auto-generate tags from the material which, as Heater notes, could improve Apple’s Podcast search.


  1. And how about a native Apple Watch Podcast app? And if not native, how about allowing third party developers to transfer podcasts to the Watch again-that funtionality was inexplicably removed in watchOS 4.

    Apple Watch is basically a glorified modern version of the now deceased iPod yet we have no way to consume a medium that Apple basically pioneered and previously championed. A medium that is still growing exponentially year after year.

    It’s insane that in 2017 one of Apple’s flagship products is inferior to a 2005 iPod Shuffle in this key area. This one bit of functionality would sell millions of Apple Watches. Podcast consumers are no longer a niche market.

    How embarrassing that Apple now has to spend billions acquiring companies to get them back in markets that they previously pioneered and absolutely owned. Beats and Pop Up are two clear examples of how Apple not only no longer skates to where the puck is going, they don’t even skate to where the puck was.

  2. One of the reasons they lost market share, an absolutely horrible design of the podcast app when they first ripped it from iTunes. Then after getting tons of complaints, they did nothing to fix it.
    This one inaction drove countless users to third party apps just for the sole purpose to EASILY listen to and manage their podcasts.

    1. Standard practice for a 2 man startup who having pioneered something, marvel in the success, lose interest and move on to the next ‘great idea’. Not sure what a multi Billion company like Apple has but time and again its what you get until they regain interest or maybe it just ticks over in their random update calendar.

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