Apple has purchased the start-up Semetric, gaining music analytics and other valuable data gathered by the British company.
The deal means Apple will get access to Semetric's Musicmetric Pro dashboard, which tracks billions of online interactions, including on social media and streaming music services, for millions of musical entities.
For instance, Musicmetric shows how many new followers an artist received on Facebook and Twitter yesterday, the artist's top-played songs, fan rank and fan demographics such as gender and place of residence.
On its website, Musicmetric says its Pro dashboard "is the world's most powerful music analytics tool around."
Although Semetric is a small company, such acquisitions are important for Apple, which has seen music sales on iTunes wane as streaming music providers have become more popular.
Last year, Apple purchased Beats, which gave it that company's premium headphones line as well as Beats Music, a subscription-based online music streaming service.
When asked about the Semetric purchase, Colin Johnson, a spokesman for Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple, said the company doesn't comment on the "purpose or plans" of acquisitions.
The deal was first reported by the Guardian, which said Semetric appointed Gene Levoff, Apple's senior director of corporate law, to its board of directors in October.