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Apple says its software business is booming

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Apple on Wednesday said that its services business, which includes software for things like news, gaming, apps, music and video, had its best ever year in 2019.

Why it matters: Apple has been focusing on growing its services business as iPhone sales have drooped.

  • “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 in a statement.

Backdrop: 2019 was a transformative year for Apple's services business. The tech giant introduced a gaming service called Apple Arcade, a subscription video service called Apple TV+, a subscription news app called Apple News+ and a credit card called Apple Card. It also expanded some of its older software services, like Apple Music and its App Store.

By the numbers: In an effort to showcase its growth to investors, Apple released a slew of engagement numbers for several of its services products. It says:

  • Apple News has over 100 million monthly active users in the U.S., U.K., Australia and Canada.
  • Apple Music now offers over 60 million songs in 115 countries. 
  • Apple Arcade offers users access to a catalog of 100+ new, exclusive games.
  • Apple Podcasts offers over 800,000 shows in 155 countries.
  • Apple Card and Apple Pay are accepted in more than 150 stadiums, ballparks, arenas and entertainment venues.

Yes, but: The company notably did not offer subscription numbers for some of its newer services like Apple TV+, which launched in November with mixed reviews, and Apple Arcade, which launched in September.

Go deeper: Apple pivots to media as iPhone sales fall