Apple revolutionized the music industry with the iPod and iTunes, but leadership is cyclical and the company fell behind the times as streaming music services like Pandora and Spotify grew more popular. iTunes Radio was Apple’s first real attempt to bring music streamers back to the Apple camp, but it apparently didn’t have quite the impact Apple was looking for… so it bought Beats for $3 billion.

Now, Apple has made a new acquisition — a much smaller one, this time — that will reportedly become an important part of the company’s Beats Music streaming service.

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According to a report from The Guardian on Wednesday, Apple has acquired a startup called Semetric.

The company’s key product is a software solution dubbed Musicmetrics, which is an analytics tool for musicians and music publishers that helps them track content performance on the web. It currently covers digital sales, BitTorrent downloads and social networking buzz, and it is expected to track YouTube plays as well in a future update.

Apple wouldn’t confirm the acquisition, and instead issued its typical response: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plan.”

A reimagined version of Beats Music is expected to launch later this year, and it is now possible that Musicmetrics could play a big role behind the scenes for the relaunched service.

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