Google Buys Podcast Android App 60dB And Is Shutting It Down

Google has acquired podcast service 60dB, which pulls together and streams short-form audio stories to listeners for an undisclosed amount, the startup said on Wednesday. According to 60dB’s co-founders, the business is set to join Google its service is scheduled to close down on November 10th, which is also when the company is likely to share more updates about its transition to the search giant's corporate family. As of this time, 60dB is not yet able to discuss what lies ahead for the company, according to Steve Henn, one of the co-founders.

60dB is a popular service for delivering personalized short audio stories from a wide variety of content creators, and Google aims to improve its Google Play Music app with a focus on personalization. The Mountain View, California-based company started bringing podcasts to the Google Play Music app in April 2016, a few years after shutting down Google Listen, which left users looking for other podcast apps outside of Google’s ecosystem. This March, Google launched its first original podcast content called City Soundtracks on Google Play Music. The search giant said the goal was to let audio listeners get a guided audio tour of the city where an artist in question originated in an effort to help listeners learn more about their favorite singers. The City Soundtracks podcast features a series of episodes that each focus on a specific band or solo artist.

Podcasts continue to gain traction among listeners and with the 60dB acquisition, Google is not leaving anything on the table. The podcast app was introduced to the Android platform last year, with its co-founders saying that when they created the service, they wanted to help content creators find the right listeners and connect with them more deeply through storytelling while ensuring support for various monetization models on top of advertising. The team behind the app has also collaborated with more than 80 media organizations and released hundreds of podcasts in 2016 alone. It now remains to be seen how Google plans to leverage 60dB’s features to improve its podcast service featured by Google Play Music or if the talent it acquired will perhaps move on to creating some entirely new products.

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Manny Reyes

Staff Writer
A big fan of Android since its launch in 2008. Since then, I've never laid my eyes on other platforms.