With Beats now under its wing and its developers almost-definitely working on a music streaming service, Apple's bolstered its sonic credentials further by purchasing Semetrics, owners of UK-based song trackers Musicmetric.
Launched in 2008, the analytics service keeps tabs on popular songs not only through chart listings and online play counts, but also by looking at buzz on social networks, YouTube and blogs, as well as tracking file-sharing stats. Essentially, it'll give Apple a mainline into the real musical tastes of its customers, beyond even the tracks they've acquired legally.
While it's obviously invaluable data for any fledgling streaming service (not to mention a key resource for encouraging iTunes sales), Semetrics also handles analytics data concerning TV, films, eBook and games too. So that's iTunes movies, iBooks and the App Store getting a slice of the number-crunching action too.
In an ideal world, it could prove useful for smaller up-and-coming artists too. While they'll never have the social clout of Taylor Swift, a savvy stat watcher could see interest building around unsigned talent, driving potential exposure on Apple's influential services.
Apple is thought to have paid around $50 million for the company. [Musically]