Apple has acquired Semetric, the London startup behind the Musicmetric analytics tool, as the iPhone maker prepares its relaunch of the Beats Music streaming service.
Launched in 2008, Musicmetric is aimed at companies in the entertainment industry who are planning events like album launches and tours, and who want to understand how an artist is performing online; the tool analyses record downloads, demographics of listeners, sales, social media interactions and BitTorrent downloads.
Although not formally announced by Apple or Semetric, documents filed with Companies House this month reveal Semetric's registered address has changed to 100 New Bridge Street in London, which is the registered address of Apple Europe Limited.
Adding further confirmation of the takeover, Apple attorney Gene Levoff was appointed as director of Semetric in October last year, according to another Companies House document, reports the Guardian.
Already based in London, Semetric raised £3m of funding in January 2013 to grow its business into areas other than music, including televisions programmes, films, games and ebooks. Also at the start of 2013, the company signed a deal with Spotify to integrate its data with Musicmetric's dashboard, which is now one of main ways labels track how popular their artists are on Spotify.
While Semetric is yet to comment on the acquisition, Apple said in a statement that it "buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plan."
It is likely that Apple will want to tie in the Musicmetric dashboard with Beats Music, which it purchased for $3bn (£1.9bn) last year. Apple plans to relaunch the music streaming service later in 2015, possibly under its iTunes brand.
It is thought Apple has visions of launching a streaming service which undercuts the £9.99 per month charged by Spotify, and it would come preloaded on all future iOS devices.