Apple has again significantly increased the number of paid subscriptions across all its platforms. According to CFO Luca Maestri, over the last twelve months a total of 160 million users have signed up. Apple calculates both its own services such as Apple Music, Arcade, TV+ or iCloud+ as well as subscriptions within third-party apps that use the group’s subscription infrastructure. While the margins for Apple services are unclear, the group takes either 15 or 30 percent commission for third-party subscriptions, depending on the length of the subscription and the size of the provider.
Accelerated subscription sales
The total number of subscribers, meanwhile, is slowly approaching one billion. According to Maestri, Apple now has a total of 860 million subscribers at the end of the past quarter. The Chief Financial Officer did not provide any information about which services are doing particularly well; the company traditionally does not mention the number of users of its services. For example, it is unclear how Apple Music is currently performing compared to Spotify – or the TV+ streaming service, which is enormously expensive for Apple, compared to Netflix.
Apple’s Services division once again recorded sales growth in the past quarter. A total of $19.6 billion was reached, up $2.2 billion from the same period last year. Apple combines many areas here – in addition to the content, the cloud business, app store subscriptions and app store fees, as well as the AppleCare support business.
Will Apple buy content?
As part of the usual conference call with analysts on the quarterly figures, Apple CEO Tim Cook was also asked on Thursday evening whether Apple could imagine buying up a large provider in the service business. They “constantly monitor the market,” Cook said in his response, but Apple never buys anything “just to buy” or “just to make money.” “We’re always checking and wondering how strategic something is.” So far, small purchases have been made in order to bring intellectual property or certain employees into the company. “But I wouldn’t rule out anything in the future,” Cook said.
Rumors have been circulating lately that Apple could get involved financially in the film or fitness sectors and plan a major takeover. For example, the iPhone company could afford Netflix with its current market capitalization of $100 billion if it wanted to – and become the market leader in the streaming business. There were also certain hopes for the troubled fitness start-up Peloton, where Apple hardware and software could be of interest. Instead, the company has so far relied on its own Fitness+ service.
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