Following reports earlier this week that Apple had acquired video aggregation and discovery service Matcha, TechCrunch claims today that its sources have provided a bit more info on the motivation behind the acquisition. While noting that the purchase price was actually closer to $10-$15 million opposed to the $1 to $1.5 million reported by others, the report says that Apple is after the company’s proprietary recommendation algorithm rather than just its talent:
Nor was it an acqui-hire; this was about the product Matcha built and about the specific recipe for video recommendations it put together via its proprietary algorithm, according to one source close to the matter.Matcha was acquired after testing numerous approaches to generating recommendations, right at the point where it had refined its algorithm such that it saw an explosion in user growth, according to our source. The app did definitely do well on the App Store charts, and was ranked among the top 15 apps in the Entertainment category before it was shut down.’
TechCrunch also adds that Apple found Matcha’s user acquisition and user engagement strategy to be the “best of any other apps competing in that space” and that it had “found the answer” with its recommendation algorithms:
It was Matcha’s user acquisition and user engagement strategy that Apple was interested in, according to one of our sources, since the acquisition happened just after Matcha had completed a round of vigorous A/B testing and had “found the answer” to rapid user growth and time spent in app. Matcha’s pairing algorithms that drove the right content to the right users simply worked best of any other apps competing in that space, the source affirms.
The report also confirms that Apple actually acquired Matcha prior to the company shutting down the service back in May.
The video programming recommendation app, which lets users browse across services like Netflix, iTunes, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime and others, didn’t pick up much steam on the App Store after launching in January 2012. While some have speculated that Apple could use the service to help power recommendations for a revamped Apple TV service, today’s report compares the purchase to Apple’s previous acquisition of app recommendation and search service Chomp.