During Apple’s fiscal first quarter earnings report late yesterday, CEO Tim Cook declared that the Apple TV+ streaming service has been a “rousing success” since its launch last November.
The SVOD IS “very strong, both the people that are getting it in the bundle and the people that are paying for it that haven’t bought a new device,” he said.
However, Cook had little else to say about the high-visibility launch.
Asked how Apple is gauging the success of the service, he confirmed that the tech giant is “primarily” measuring it “on the number of subscribers.” However, he did not provide any information on subscriber numbers.
Instead, he said: “As you can tell from the way that we launched the product, it started with a very aggressive price at $4.99 in addition to our bundle, where if you buy pretty much any Apple device, you get a year for free. We’re very focused on subscribers.” Cook added that the SVOD "is not a hobby --i t's a real business."
"This was a strong quarter for Apple, primarily driven by strong sales of the iPhone 11 lineup," comments eMarketer principal analyst Yoram Wurmser. "One note of caution in an otherwise strong report was that Services -- which included Apple TV+ -- grew slightly below expectations. This miss could be attributed to the competition from Disney+, which launched at roughly the same time."
Apple reported that it now has 1.5 billion active installed devices and 480 million subscribers across its own and third-party services, up from 1.4 billion devices and 360 million subscribers in the year-ago quarter.
For the quarter ended in December, Apple posted record quarterly revenue of $91.8 billion, representing a 9% increase over the year-ago quarter. Quarterly earnings per diluted share were $4.99 -- up 19% -- also a record. Both numbers beat analysts’ expectations.
Driven in part by price cuts in China, sales of iPhones rebounded after a year of downtrending. The quarter’s $55.96 billion in iPhone sales beat the analysts’ expectations of $51.6 billion, as well as the last fiscal Q1’s $52 billion.
Apple’s updated forecast of $63 billion to $67 billion in revenue for this fiscal’s full first quarter, ending in March, also exceeded analysts’ projections of $62.4 billion.
However, Cook acknowledged that the provided range was wider than usual because of the unpredictable potential effects of the spreading coronavirus in China, where most of Apple’s hardware is manufactured.