Aug 4, 2023 - Economy

Apple hits 1 billion paid subscriptions

Apple revenue by sector
Data: Company reports from earnings; Chart:Tory Lysik and Alice Feng/Axios Visuals

Apple on Thursday said it now has more than 1 billion paid subscriptions across all of its services, including Apple Music, iCloud, Apple News, Apple TV+ and more.

Why it matters: Apple has methodically executed a long-term strategy of offsetting slowing hardware sales growth with revenue from software services — and that now accounts for more than a quarter of the company's sales.

  • Apple's advertising business is expected to reach $6 billion by 2025, which would make it larger than both Snapchat and Twitter's ad business.

Driving the news: Apple's stock slid on Thursday, after the tech giant told Wall Street that its revenues declined 1% from the same quarter the year prior, thanks to slowing hardware sales.

Yes, but: The quarter also represented Apple's biggest ever for software sales.

  • In total, the company earned $21.2 billion from software services last quarter, a growth rate of 8% year-over-year.
  • By comparison, its iPhone revenue declined roughly 2% year-over-year, Mac revenue declined 7% year-over-year, and iPad revenue dropped 20% year-over-year.
  • On the company's earnings call, CEO Tim Cook blamed that steep decline, in part, on unfavorable comparables from the year prior, when Apple launched its latest version of the iPad Air.

Be smart: Services revenue represented more than a quarter of Apple's total sales last quarter. By comparison, services revenue represented just 10% of quarterly revenues eight years prior, in 2015.

What to watch: Apple inked a 10-year, $2.5 billion deal with Major League Soccer (MLS) in February that gives the tech giant exclusive rights to stream MLS games on Apple TV+ in the U.S.

  • Apple said it saw a boost in viewership for its MLS Season Pass package following Lionel Messi's move to Inter Miami in July.
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