Apple has marked the close of a “historic 2019” for its services offerings with a press release celebrating Apple Arcade, Apple TV+, Apple News+ and Apple Card, as well as the continued success of its App Store, Apple Music, and iCloud.
“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.”
Here are some key takeaways from Apple’s services highlights of 2019, including some things that the company says customers can look forward to in 2020:
- 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.
- Over 50 percent of Apple Music listeners have used the new time-synced lyrics feature that was introduced in 2019 with iOS 13.
- 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 News draws over 100 million monthly active users in the US, UK, Australia and Canada.
- In 2020, Apple News will provide live coverage of key moments in the US presidential election in partnership with ABC News.
- Apple Podcasts now delivers listeners over 800,000 shows in 155 countries.
- 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.
- In 2020, customers will be able to tap their iPhone and Apple Watch to ride trains and buses in Washington, D.C., Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Foshan, Guangdong, and will be able to access dorms and services at additional universities across the US.
- 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.
During its last earnings call of 2019, Apple revealed that in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2019 its services segment brought in $12.5 billion, up from $10.6 billion in the year-ago quarter and $11.46 billion in the third quarter of 2019. Services grew 18 percent year-over-year, and Apple said that it saw growth in all regions around the world.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said that almost every one of Apple’s services had set new all-time revenue records, including its search ad business, Apple Music, Apple Care, cloud services, and the App Store. Apple’s services category is now the size of a Fortune 70 company by revenue.