Apple buys piracy-measuring, buzz-tracking service Musicmetric

Apple has quietly snapped up a UK company that goes beyond the charts to measure the latest pop sensations.

Richard Trenholm
Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Expertise Films, TV, Movies, Television, Technology

Apple has acquired Musicmetric, which tracks streaming, piracy and social buzz around artists like Lorde (left) and Taylor Swift. Gregg DeGuire/WireImage/Getty

With Beats Music set to play along with iTunes, Apple has struck a new chord by buying Musicmetric, a service that measures which tunes and artists are being listened to, pirated and talked about.

Launched in 2008, Musicmetric is a music-analytics service run by British company Semetric. Musicmetric delves beyond the sales and streaming charts, looking at activity on peer-to-peer networks as well as reviews and comments on blogs, social networks and YouTube.

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The results allow music industry clients to track the buzz around an artist or song.

Semetric also performs similar analytics for television, film, eBooks and videogames.

Apple notified UK authorities of the acquisition this month according to Musically, which reports that an Apple director was appointed to a director's position at Semetrics in October last year.

Apple hasn't disclosed how much it shelled out for the company.

Apple acquired headphone manufacturer Beats in a $3 billion purchase last year, the biggest buy in Apple's history. The Beats Music online streaming service that came with it is set to be absorbed into iTunes in some form, and the deep analytics provided by Musicmetrics will presumably tie into the revamped service.

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