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Apple buys book analytics site BookLamp to aid iBookstore discovery

updated 10:04 pm EDT, Fri July 25, 2014

Boise-based company dubbed 'the Pandora of books' sold for $10-15 million

On Friday, Apple revealed that it had purchased book analytics and discovery company BookLamp for an undisclosed sum, though TechCrunch estimated the sale between $10-15 million. While it acknowledged the deal, the iPhone maker's only comment on the deal was its standard "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans" line. The company is likely to use BookLamp technology in its iBookstore to help readers discover new content.

BookLamp, originally based in Boise, Idaho, had only gone as far as a tech demo of its book content analyzing engine, dubbed the "Book Genome Project" in honor of its similarity to streaming music service Pandora's similarly-named music discovery engine, but was said to be analyzing between 40,000 and 100,000 titles per week. The BookLamp technology offered recommendations and other content based upon what readers already bought and liked, and learned about similar or compatible content by analyzing books using natural-language algorithms, reports AppleInsider.

Sample BookLamp analysis (credit: Mashable)
Sample BookLamp analysis (credit: Mashable)

The firm previously had 10 team members, but according to an unnamed source the entire staff are now working at Apple, leaving no official members working at either of BookLamp's two offices (one in Boise, the other in Cupertino). The BookLamp website is also inactive, with a message thanking supporters but saying the company will "evolve its mission."

by MacNN Staff





  1. Inkling

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 07-25-06

    The geeky graphs are OK, but what the iBookstore really needs is a host of public-facing features that help readers locate books they like. Right now, the iBookstore comes up more than a little lacking.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    The "geeky graph" is an explanation of how BookLamp works, not what users would see. The DNA analysis above is used to do exactly what you're asking for -- help readers locate books they like.

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