Apple has acquired a new metrics and analytics company out of Europe, according to reports. Semetric is a British firm that runs the Musicmetric analytics system, along with a number of other metric tools. It is suggested the acquisition is part of Apple's plans to launch a music service sometime this year.

Semetric's Musicmetric tool allows the music industry to track sales/download data across a growing number of platforms including BitTorrent, YouTube, social networks and others. The company later expanded its reach into other forms of media including TV Shows, games and movies, before partnering with Spotify (as well as some of its rivals), and now landing in Apple's lap.

Semetric has made no public comment on the supposed deal but the company's registered address was changed to 100 New Bridge Street, London, the same as Apple Europe Limited, after a senior attorney at Apple known as Gene Levoff was named as its director back in October.

Apple has dropped its usual, we buy "smaller technology companies from time to time..." statement, but many believe the acquisition is directly tied to Apple's expected re-branding of the Beats music service. Some suggest Semetric may be working on back-end analytics tools for artists and content companies, among other things.

As for what Apple may have paid for Semetric, there is no hard data. The Financial Times has suggested it could be anywhere up to $50 million.