Apple Says 2019 Was a Landmark Year For Services Including Apple News
Apple said that 2019, a year that the company introduced Apple Arcade, Apple TV+, Apple News+ and Apple Card, has been a landmark year for its Services offerings.
“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,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “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.”
Apple has been focusing on the integration of hardware, software and services.
The company said that the App Store app marketplace receives over half a billion visitors each week. The company claims that the App Store is "the safest place" for users to find software and provides developers access to customers in 155 countries. Since the App Store launched in 2008, developers have earned over $155 billion, with a quarter of those earnings coming from the past year alone, according to the iPhone maker. App Store customers spent a record $1.42 billion between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, a 16 percent increase over last year, and $386 million on New Year’s Day 2020 alone, a 20 percent increase over last year and a new single-day record.
Apple keeps between 15% and 30% of the sales through its App Store, depending on whether users buy software as a one-time purchase or recurring subscription.
Apple Music is offering over 60 million songs and music experts and tastemakers curating thousands of playlists and daily selections in 115 countries. The service is available for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Mac, HomePod and CarPlay. Apple said that over 50 percent of listeners have used the new time-synced lyrics feature on iOS 13 in 2019.
Apple TV+ is the home of Apple Originals, including “The Morning Show,” “Dickinson,” “For All Mankind,” “See” and “Servant.” Apple TV+ was the first streaming platform to receive multiple Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations in its launch year, and was the first streaming service that launched instantly in over 100 countries and regions.
The Apple TV app is available on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, iPod touch, select Samsung smart TVs, and Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices, and will be available on LG, Sony and VIZIO smart TVs later this year. The app now offers over 30 Apple TV channels — direct subscriptions to video services so Apple customers can watch both online and offline, ad-free and on demand, all in one app.
Apple Arcade is a game subscription service within the App Store, offering users unlimited access to a catalog of 100+ new, exclusive games, all playable across iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and Apple TV. Apple Arcade features titles such as “Sayonara Wild Hearts,” “Assemble with Care” and “Mini Motorways,” and throughout 2020, the service will add new games and expansions every month.
Apple also said that Apple News draws over 100 million monthly active users in the US, UK, Australia and Canada. The service offers an all-in-one subscription to hundreds of the world’s top magazines and major newspapers. In 2020, Apple News will provide live coverage of key moments in the US presidential election in partnership with ABC News.
Apple also offers a paid version of its news service called Apple News+ for $9.99 per month but did not disclose subscriber numbers.
Apple Podcasts offers free audio stories and now delivers listeners over 800,000 shows in 155 countries on more devices than ever before. Listeners can search topics and people within the audio to find new shows and episodes.
Last month, Apple customers began using Apple Card Monthly Installments to purchase new iPhones and pay for them over 24 months with zero interest. In 2019, entry to more than 150 stadiums, ballparks, arenas and entertainment venues around the world was available with contactless tickets on iPhone and Apple Watch, according to Apple. Apple's customers could ride public transit with Apple Pay in some of the largest cities in the world, including Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, Moscow, London and New York. In 2020, Apple promised that its customers will be able to tap their iPhone and Apple Watch to ride trains and buses in even more cities, including Washington, D.C., Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Foshan, and access dorms and services at additional universities across the US.
Apple also said that over 75 percent of iCloud users are protected with two-factor authentication.
Apple’s overall services segment revenue rose 16% to $46.3 billion in its most recent fiscal year ended on Sept. 28, 2019, while its iPhone segment sales fell 14% to $142.4 billion.