Apple Buys a Company for Data Analysis

Apple Buys a Company for Data Analysis
Apple has acquired Semetric, a company that analyzes data about music online, a move that may hint at Apple's ambitions as it prepares to revamp iTunes and Beats Music.

In documents filed with public regulators in Britain, where Semetric is based, the company changed its address to one in London associated with Apple, and named an Apple lawyer, Gene D. Levoff, as a company director. A person briefed on the deal, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that Apple had bought Semetric, although further details, including the price, could not be confirmed.

An Apple spokesman said: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.'' A representative of Semetric did not respond to inquiries. The news was first reported early Wednesday by the website Music Ally.

Semetric, known for its service Musicmetric, is one of a growing number of companies that record labels, artist managers and others turn to for data about how music is consumed online. This information has become coveted as more listeners turn from CDs and downloads to streaming outlets like Spotify and YouTube. Musicmetric, along with rivals like Next Big Sound, tracks streaming services and social media chatter, and sells that information to clients like record companies and talent agents.

For Apple, the deal may signal a desire to expand its online music offerings after buying Beats last year for $3 billion. The availability of useful data has become a critical point for artists and labels, and Apple is eager to present itself as a valuable partner, music executives say. Apple is said to be developing its plans for Beats, which may include making the app a standard feature on iPhones and iPads, as well as changing iTunes to work in concert with Beats.

Apple's deal for Semetric is the latest in a number of investments in streaming music and data. Last year, Spotify bought Echo Nest for $91 million (roughly Rs. 559 crores), mostly in stock. And also on Wednesday, Shazam, the popular song identification app that has a data-sharing agreement with the Warner Music Group, said that it had raised $30 million (roughly Rs. 184 crores) in new investment, bringing its valuation to $1 billion (roughly Rs. 6,153 crores).

© 2015 New York Times News Service

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