Apple Acquires Podcast Search Engine Creator ‘Pop Up Archive’

Apple has recently acquired Oakland-based startup Pop Up Archive, an online platform focused on building tools to transcribe, organize, and search podcasts and audio files.

According to a new report from NiemanLab, Pop Up Archive, the company behind the now-defunct podcast search engine, is now under Apple’s umbrella.

“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” an Apple spokesperson said. The price has not yet been divulged.

Pop Up Archive was founded back in 2012 by Anne Wootton and Bailey Smith, and has since grown due to a number of seed investments and grants. Pop Up Archive also has a close relationship with PRX, as the two companies partnered up to built PRX’s web-based archive system.

“Apple is believed to still drive somewhere between 50 to 70 percent of all available podcasts downloads, depending on who’s measuring — it’s near impossible to quantify this with any precision — and it’s further worth noting that this news comes months after Apple’s original announcement of in-episode analytics, which was scheduled to roll out around this end point of the year following the introduction of iOS 11 in September,” reads the report.

With this acquisition, Apple now owns a technology dedicated to increasing the ease of searching through the hundreds of thousands of shows distributed through its Apple Podcast platform.

It will be interesting to see how Apple implements Pop Up Archive’s tools to improve podcast searching and discovery through Apple’s official Podcasts app for iOS.