Apple has reportedly purchased British media analytics company Semetric to form part of the new Beats Music service.
Semetric runs the Musicmetric analytics tool, which allows clients such as music labels to tracks a broad range of data on their artists. This can include sales, social network statistics, and audio streams.
The tool can also be used to track online music piracy rates, with the ability to monitor BitTorrent downloads.
Now it appears as if Musicmetric developer Semetrics is part of the Apple family.
According to The Guardian, Semetric's registered address has recently been changed to 100 New Bridge Street in London. That just happens to be the address of the Baker & McKenzie law firm, which is also the registered address for Apple Europe.
If that wasn't evidence enough, the report points out that Apple attorney Gene Levoff was appointed as a Semetric director back in October.
Naturally, Apple has repelled inquiries regarding such a deal with its usual canned "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plan," line. But it all looks very likely from here.
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It's not difficult to speculate on Apple's intentions for Semetric. Apple bought Beats Electronics for $3 billion last year, and it's thought that the company's Beats Music streaming service formed part of the reason for the purchase.
Apple could well be set to rebrand and relaunch Beats Music some time this year - possibly as an integral part of iTunes. Musicmetric could become Apple's tool for labels and artists to monitor their streams and sales through the wider iTunes service.