Apple buys UK music tracking startup Semetric to boost Beats Music analytics

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2015
Apple has purchased British media analytics startup Semetric in what appears to be the next step in a planned push for Beats Music, the streaming music platform Apple acquired last year as part of its Beats deal.




News of the acquisition was carried by The Guardian, which reported Apple is looking to integrate Semetric's analytics technology into Beats Music as part of an expected relaunch later in 2015. Apple purchased Beats' hardware and software divisions in a $3 billion deal last year.

The publication pieced together clues of Apple's Semetric's acquisition discovered in filings with the UK's Companies House. For example, the startup changed its registered address earlier this month to a London location housing law firm Baker & McKenzie, an address also registered to Apple Europe Limited. A separate filing from January revealed Semetric assigned Apple attorney Gene Levoff to a director role in October 2014.

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plan," Apple said in its usual canned statement.

The UK startup's main product is Musicmetric, a service that provides statistics on sales data, social media impact, digital downloads and more to music labels, artists and others in the industry. Applied to Apple's Beats Music, Musicmetric technology could be used to more accurately calculate royalties, a metric that has been difficult to quantify across today's numerous social media platforms.

Launched in 2008, Semetric successfully raised $4.7 million in a funding round in January 2013 to expand its metric gathering capacity into e-books, television shows, films and games, the publication said. That same month, Semetric reached a deal with Spotify to integrate the music streaming service's data into the Musicmetric dashboard.

It is unclear if Semetric's existing partnerships will carry over as part of Apple's acquisition. Also unknown is the final price Apple paid for the London-based firm.

Rumors last year claimed Apple is looking to rebrand Beats Music or otherwise roll the service into another product more closely aligned with iTunes or iTunes Radio. While official plans have yet to be discussed, Apple could ply Semetric's tools toward the creation of an in-house analytics dashboard that covers not only music artists and labels, but all content owners selling digital wares across iTunes's expansive universe, including apps, movies, TV shows and iBooks.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    Still no iTunes Radio in the UK. What is it now: three years?

    I miss the days when Apple was an international company.
  • Reply 2 of 33
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    So Beats has turned into a money pit. Smart though that Apple is not releasing purchase price information after the Beats $$ public relations fiasco. How will this Beats Music service ever turn a profit?
  • Reply 3 of 33
    Still no iTunes Radio in the UK. What is it now: three years?

    While I'm not saying Apple is blame free on the glacial pace of iTunes Radio going international, sadly I suspect most the delays are down to the arse backwards recording industry being stubborn over the licencing - isn't Australia the only country outside the US to currently have iTunes Radio?

    Also Apple, while you remember that the UK exists for a few seconds can we have ApplePay too? And iPlayer / 4OD / etc on AppleTV? Is that too much to ask?
  • Reply 4 of 33
    davemcm76 wrote: »
    While I'm not saying Apple is blame free on the glacial pace of iTunes Radio going international, sadly I suspect most the delays are down to the arse backwards recording industry being stubborn over the licencing - isn't Australia the only country outside the US to currently have iTunes Radio?

    Also Apple, while you remember that the UK exists for a few seconds can we have ApplePay too? And iPlayer / 4OD / etc on AppleTV? Is that too much to ask?

    I daresay foreign markets represent a major sticking point for Apple with regard to navigating all of the legal and licensing issues.
  • Reply 5 of 33
    "One of our top priorities is to bring iTunes Radio obviously here in the U.K. but everywhere in the world," Cue said last week in an interview from London. "We certainly want to be in more than 100 countries."

    That was back in 2013. We have 2015 and iTunes Radio is still available only in 2 countries. Honestly, I don't care what's holding them back, this is just totally unacceptable. Apple seems to be becoming more and more US-centric with some of their solutions and I'm seriously losing my patience.
  • Reply 6 of 33
    Don't worry UK'ers. You're not missing much with ITunes Radio. I tried setting up a Supertramp channel to see if it would find similar artists. The first two that it gave me were Jimi Hendrix and Bob Seger... I turned it off and never tried it again. I do like and subscribe to the Beats Music service though.
  • Reply 7 of 33
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pepe779 View Post



    "One of our top priorities is to bring iTunes Radio obviously here in the U.K. but everywhere in the world," Cue said last week in an interview from London. "We certainly want to be in more than 100 countries."



    That was back in 2013. We have 2015 and iTunes Radio is still available only in 2 countries. Honestly, I don't care what's holding them back, this is just totally unacceptable. Apple seems to be becoming more and more US-centric with some of their solutions and I'm seriously losing my patience.



    Blame your own country and the industries responsible, not Apple.

  • Reply 8 of 33
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wodster View Post



    Don't worry UK'ers. You're not missing much with ITunes Radio. I tried setting up a Supertramp channel to see if it would find similar artists. The first two that it gave me were Jimi Hendrix and Bob Seger... I turned it off and never tried it again. I do like and subscribe to the Beats Music service though.



    Same, I had it (iTR) insert a jazz song in a Classic Rock playlist. Beats Music is much better.

  • Reply 9 of 33
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pepe779 View Post

     Honestly, I don't care what's holding them back, this is just totally unacceptable. 

    <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />

     

    Do better.

     

    You people are looney toons.

  • Reply 10 of 33
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post



    So Beats has turned into a money pit. Smart though that Apple is not releasing purchase price information after the Beats $$ public relations fiasco. How will this Beats Music service ever turn a profit?



    Everything you just said was invented in your post alone. There is no PR fiasco. If you consider the measly cost of the acquisition, the hardware business alone will recoup that in short order...which means if Beats Music has even 1 subscriber, its profitable.

  • Reply 11 of 33
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,785member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DaveMcM76 View Post





    While I'm not saying Apple is blame free on the glacial pace of iTunes Radio going international, sadly I suspect most the delays are down to the arse backwards recording industry being stubborn over the licencing - isn't Australia the only country outside the US to currently have iTunes Radio?



    Also Apple, while you remember that the UK exists for a few seconds can we have ApplePay too? And iPlayer / 4OD / etc on AppleTV? Is that too much to ask?



    My suspicion is that doing business in the E.U. is a nightmare come true with zillions of anti-business regulations cloaked in the mantle of consumer protection. I doubt it’s even worth it to Apple.

  • Reply 12 of 33
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,142member
    Still no iTunes Radio in the UK. What is it now: three years?

    I miss the days when Apple was an international company.

    I must say I am surprised too. I can only think it must be due to licensing restrictions, why would Apple withhold a service if it didn't have to?
  • Reply 13 of 33
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member

    I don't understand this acquisition at all. Is Apple still after the golden goose of curation? Impossible. Its not something you are ever going to perfect.

     

    Apple already had it as good as it gets with Genius. Genius collected the info about the Libraries/Playlists of hundreds of millions of iTunes users and used that data to create Genius Playlists. Then they acquired LaLa, and I think a few other similar small streaming outfits, and combined Genius with all of those acquisitions to fuel iTunes Radio. Now they have Beats, which has its own curation, and now they buy another startup with curation.

     

    The hopeful side of me wants to believe that they are combining this all together to make one brilliant music streaming service with the best curation on the planet.

     

    The pessimist in me thinks they are chasing a level of curation that simply doesn't exist. I know that for me personally, you (Apple) are never going to get it quite right, so don't bother making a playlist for me....I'll make my own.

  • Reply 14 of 33
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,142member
    wodster wrote: »
    Don't worry UK'ers. You're not missing much with ITunes Radio. I tried setting up a Supertramp channel to see if it would find similar artists. The first two that it gave me were Jimi Hendrix and Bob Seger... I turned it off and never tried it again. I do like and subscribe to the Beats Music service though.

    It's all about curation. :)

    Actually those artists would be all together in my list, the LPs were certainly all in my collection. What am awesome set, I must try that! Such memories of the 70's, (Jimmy lived on through the 70's too to me).
  • Reply 15 of 33
    poksipoksi Posts: 481member
    lkrupp wrote: »

    My suspicion is that doing business in the E.U. is a nightmare come true with zillions of anti-business regulations cloaked in the mantle of consumer protection. I doubt it’s even worth it to Apple.

    I would like to believe that, but how does competition get along then? How come changing the country inside Apple ID ecosystem is such a nightmare compared to other competitor's services, yet they all operate under sam EU legislation?
  • Reply 16 of 33
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     



    My suspicion is that doing business in the E.U. is a nightmare come true with zillions of anti-business regulations cloaked in the mantle of consumer protection. I doubt it’s even worth it to Apple.


     

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post





    I must say I am surprised too. I can only think it must be due to licensing restrictions, why would Apple with hold a service if it didn't have to?



    You're both right, licensing has gotten worse not better as time has gone on. Media is virtually at a standstill. No innovation is happening anywhere, because the license holders are not doing anything. The same applies to Music/Movies/TV/Books.

     

    Look at what was just announced re: the Super Bowl. Its 2015 and thats the best they can do.

  • Reply 17 of 33

    Apple is always a bit slow with rolling services out internationally. Other companies are pushing a bit harder.

     

    iTunes Radio though seems to take forever. BUT, I'm pretty sure Beats is the reason behind it. They pretty much stopped the rollout at the time when the whole Beats takeover must have started or been in a serious state.

     

    They are not negotiating with labels to bring iTR to all other countries and then sit back again at their table to negotiate a subscription service. Nor will Apple have iTunes Store, iTunes Radio, Genius Playlists, Genius Genres and your "normal" library" as their solution to experiencing music.

     

    I'm pretty confident that we are seeing a more streamlined music offering from Apple at some point and careful negotiations need to be done. I remember Trent Reznor (now at Apple) talking about working on a new way of bringing us music.

     

    I'm actually pretty confident that they are crafting something really nice there. They alway tell us how music is in their DNA. And in fact, iTunes (Store) and iPod was a huge turning point for them. I refuse to believe that they leave that filed to other companies (Spotify?).

  • Reply 18 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaveMcM76 View Post





    While I'm not saying Apple is blame free on the glacial pace of iTunes Radio going international, sadly I suspect most the delays are down to the arse backwards recording industry being stubborn over the licencing - isn't Australia the only country outside the US to currently have iTunes Radio?



    Also Apple, while you remember that the UK exists for a few seconds can we have ApplePay too? And iPlayer / 4OD / etc on AppleTV? Is that too much to ask?

    The UK seems to have been ok with other streaming services like spotify or google music. Does the recording industry demand special treatment with iTunes or something?

  • Reply 19 of 33
    geekmeegeekmee Posts: 304member
    pazuzu wrote: »
    So Beats has turned into a money pit. Smart though that Apple is not releasing purchase price information after the Beats $$ public relations fiasco. How will this Beats Music service ever turn a profit?

    "...Release The Trolls!!"
  • Reply 20 of 33
    pmz wrote: »



    You're both right, licensing has gotten worse not better as time has gone on. Media is virtually at a standstill. No innovation is happening anywhere, because the license holders are not doing anything. The same applies to Music/Movies/TV/Books.

    Look at what was just announced re: the Super Bowl. Its 2015 and thats the best they can do.

    Major League Baseball is actually rather innovative on the media front, and MLB Advanced Media provides the backbone for a lot of streaming services, including HBO.
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