Apple marked the close of a “historic 2019” that saw its services offerings expanding greatly thanks to the debuts of Apple Card, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and Apple News+.
Apple says the App Store closed out the old year and greeted the new year by setting a couple of new records. App Store customers spent a record of $1.42 billion between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, a 16% increase over last year, and $386 million on New Year’s Day 2020 alone, a 20% increase over last year and a new single-day record.
“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.”
Other highlights concerning Apple’s services during 2019 included:
- Apple TV+ “made history” as the first streaming platform to receive multiple Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations in its launch year, and is the first and only streaming service to debut instantly in over 100 countries and regions.
- Apple Music’s new time-synced lyrics feature was a highlight in 2019: over 50 percent of listeners have used it on iOS 13.
- The Apple TV app now offers over 30 Apple TV channels — direct subscriptions to premium video services so customers can watch both online and offline, ad-free and on-demand, all in one app. The 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 Apple Arcade game subscription service offers users unlimited access to a catalog of 100+ new, exclusive games, all playable across iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and Apple TV.
- Apple News draws over 100 million monthly active users in the US, UK, Australia, and Canada and has revolutionized how users access news from all their favorite sources. Apple News+ offers an all-in-one subscription to hundreds of the world’s top magazines and major newspapers.
- Apple Podcasts offers free audio stories that entertain, inform and inspire, and now delivers listeners over 800,000 shows in 155 countries on more devices than ever before.
- Over 75 percent of iCloud users are protected with two-factor authentication, an extra layer of security designed to ensure that no one else can access their account or data.
Apple’s services segment continues to become an important piece of the company’s revenue stream. During Apple’s last earnings call of 2019, the firm revealed that its services segment brought in $12.5 billion during the fiscal fourth quarter of 2019, up from $10.6 billion in the year-ago quarter and $11.46 billion in the third quarter of 2019. Services grew 18% year-over-year.