In a year that saw Apple launch a bunch of new services, including Apple News+, Apple Card, Apple Arcade, and Apple TV+, it should perhaps come as little surprise that 2019 was “the biggest year for services in Apple’s history,” according to Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior VP for 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,” he said.
As usual, Apple shared its annual App Store payout data, revealing that developers have earned more than $155 billion since the App Store’s inception back in 2008 — a quarter of which ($38.75 billion) came in the last year alone. Moreover, the holiday period garnered record consumer spend in the App Store, with $1.42 billion between Christmas and New Year — 16% more than last year. But perhaps most notably, New Year’s Day specifically saw consumers shell out $386 million in the App Store — 20% more than last year and a new record for a single day.
Apple announced at least one other notable tidbit today — Apple News has now passed 100 million monthly users in its four active markets — the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia. This is significantly more than the 85 million it announced during its Q1 2019 earnings one year ago, but it’s perhaps safe to say that a sizable chunk of this growth is attributable to the fact that Apple News launched in Canada last March. Apple didn’t break out any of the subscription numbers following the launch of its Apple News+ subscription service in March.
Elsewhere, Apple revealed that Apple Music’s time-synced lyric feature, launched as part of iOS 13 back in June, has been used by 50% of listeners. And Looking forward to 2020, Apple Card and Apple Pay customers will be able to pay for public transit rides in more cities, including Washington, D.C. and Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Foshan in China, while the Apple TV app will land on LG, Sony, and Vizio smart TVs.