Apple secretly acquired the “Pandora for Books” in April

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Apple on Friday confirmed reports that it recently acquired book analytics firm BookLamp,dubbed the “Pandora for Books”, in April to bolster its fight in the e-book sales market, bringing better discovery and analytics to its digital storefront. Citing sources familiar with the matter, TechCrunch reports Apple bought BookLamp and its so-called Book Genome Project technology for between $10 million and $15 million. The company confirmed the sale to Re/Code minutes later.

Apple acquired a company called BookLamp earlier this year for somewhere between $10-15 million, according to information uncovered by TechCrunch. The Idaho-based startup created what was referred to as “Pandora for books,” including a system known as the Book Genome Project that could recommend books based on analysis of the text and previous ratings of other books by users (very similar to Pandora’s Music Genome Project, which does the same thing for musical analysis). According to TechCrunch, several of BookLamp’s employees have moved to California since the startup announced that it was shutting down in April. It seems that at that time, both Apple and Amazon were expressing interest in acquiring the company. Amazon eventually backed off and bought GoodReads instead, leaving BookLamp for Apple. While BookLamp still has its Idaho office, it has since opened a new Cupertino office, though TechCrunch’s sources claim that no employees actually work in either building. Instead, all of the employees are now at Apple, likely working on an improved search or recommendation engine for Apple’s own iBooks service.

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