Early last year, Play Music added a directory and podcast playback to the Android and web apps. Later on, Google’s music service was updated with machine learning to deliver personalized and contextual recommendations for songs and playlists. A recent startup acquisition now suggests that podcast personalization could be coming.
As spotted by Business Insider, podcast app 60dB announced today it was shutting down and joining Google next month. Focussed on delivering personalized short-form audio, the startup launched last fall.
Founded by two Netflix executives and a radio journalist, the app’s main focus was a “Quick Hits” section that offered short bites of audio that are convenient throughout the day.
We’ve designed 60dB to fit into all the bits of time you have throughout the day. It works when you go for a quick run, or when you hop in the car for your 30-minute commute. It works when you’re doing the dishes your roommate left stacked in the sink. And it works if you have two hours to kill. We’ve got you covered when your eyes and hands are busy, but your mind is curious. We are there for you when you have 10 minutes and want to catch up on the world.
Launched on iOS, 60dB expanded to Android, the web, and Amazon Alexa over the past year. Content ranged from news, sports, business, entertainment, and comedy, with several publishers providing exclusive content for the platform. In all, the startup worked with over 80 publications and published over 700 audio stories.
60dB is shutting down November 10th, with the apps already taken down from the App Store and Play Store. The founders note that they joined Google to be “better positioned” to accomplish their goals, with the latter company offering scale. It suggests that 60dB’s core focus might resurface in a future Google product.
As we considered next steps for 60dB, we came to the conclusion that to accomplish our goals we’d be better positioned if we joined someone with scale who shared our vision for what was possible with digital audio.
Our team is looking forward to continuing our work to inform, enlighten and connect listeners around the world at Google.