The Apple story is now more about Services revenue and less about iPhone sales that are continuing to decline. In recognition of that trend, Apple today issued a press release announcing that 2019 was the biggest year for the Services segment in its history. The company provided other numbers that paint the Services business in favorable light.
Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, said:
2019 was the biggest year for Services in Apple’s history. We introduced several exciting new experiences for our customers, all while setting the standard for user privacy and security. We begin the new decade with incredible momentum and gratitude to our customers who have shown such enthusiasm for all of our Services, and we continue to celebrate the work of the world’s best creators, storytellers, journalists and developers.
Here re a few notable highlights from the press release:
- App Store: Over half a billion people from 155 countries visit the store each week, with cumulative developer earnings having passed $155 billion and a quarter of those earnings coming from the past year alone. People spent $1.42 billion between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, a 16 percent increase over last year and setting a new record. Customers spent $386 million on New Year’s Day 2020 alone, a 20 percent increase over last year and a new single-day record.
- Apple Music: The service offers 60 million songs for streaming, thousands of playlists and daily selections curated by human experts. It’s available in 115 countries across iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Mac, HomePod and CarPlay. Apple says more than half the listeners have used iOS 13’s new time-synced lyrics feature.
- Apple TV+: Apple calls Apple TV+ “the first and only streaming service to debut instantly in over 100 countries and regions”. The platform received multiple Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations in its launch year and is set to continue building out its library of content in 2020 and beyond.
- Apple TV app: Currently available on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, iPod touch, select Samsung smart TVs, as well as Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices, this piece of software is coming “later this year” to LG, Sony and VIZIO smart TVs. It brings together entertainment from compatible streaming apps (excluding Netflix) and offers over thirty services as subscription channels. Subscribing to sources like HBO via Apple TV Channels versus a dedicated app brings perks like offline support, no ads, unified controls and interfaces and more. With the app, you can access your iTunes video library and buy or rent over 100,000 films and TV shows as well.
- Apple Arcade: Offering more than a hundred exclusive games, all without ads or in-app purchases, Apple Arcade is available across iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and Apple TV. Throughout 2020, Apple Arcade will add new games and expansions every month.
- Apple News: Apple’s news aggregator has over 100 million monthly active users in the US, UK, Australia and Canada. The optional Apple News+ subscription service offers an all-you-can-eat access to hundreds of the world’s top magazines and major newspapers. As previously announced, Apple News in 2020 will provide live coverage of key moments in the US presidential election in partnership with ABC News.
- Apple Podcasts: This service is home to more than 800,000 shows in 155 countries. Thanks to the Apple Podcasts app for iOS 13 and macOS Catalina, you can now search topics and people within the audio to find new shows and episodes.
- Apple Card: The service now provides a Monthly Installments feature that lets you buy a new iPhone and pay for it over 24 months with zero interest with your Apple Card.
- Apple Pay: Apple Pay continue its expansion around the world, with 150+ stadiums, ballparks, arenas and entertainment venues supporting it in 2019. Apple Pay also works with public transit in Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, Moscow, London and New York. This year, Apple Pay transit support will roll out in Washington, D.C., Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Foshan, as well as additional universities across the US.
- iCloud: More than two-thirds of iCloud accounts are now protected with Apple’s two-factor authentication. Customers get 5 gigabytes of iCloud storage at no charge, with paid tiers available through the Settings app. With Family Sharing, up to six family members can share access to Apple services and individual media/app purchases.
The press release wraps up by saying that Apple will continue to delight customers in 2020, as well as collaborate with developers and creators to offer “new levels of creativity, choice and innovation across original series and films, podcasts, music, news, games, apps, payments and unique experiences only Apple can deliver.”
Thoughts on Apple’s various Services businesses?