Apple reports best ever Q4 revenue on back of its services

Apple reports best ever Q4 revenue on back of its services Apple might just become the biggest endorsement for the subscription industry as the company has hit another new revenue record. The Cupertino giant has recorded its best ever Q4 results thanks to its fast-growing services division, and the story forms our main highlight in this week’s subscription roundup. Next, we look at subscription stories emerging from giants Amazon, AT&T, Spotify and Netflix. We then look at Walmart which is scouting buyers for its on-demand video service Vudu, as well as music streaming service YouTube Music which just got more wings with Siri integration. And finally, we turn towards the B2B space with Citrix’s successful transition towards the subscription model.

Apple records $64 billion in Q4 revenue

Despite slowing iPhone sales, Apple has reported its best Q4 revenue clearly indicating that the company is no longer dependent on its marquee product for growth. The company earned $64 billion in revenue, up 2% YoY compared with Q4 2018. More importantly, Apple reached a record high for its services business raking in $12.5 billion in Q4. The company said that it now has over 450 million paid subscriptions across all its services, and this is only going to increase with the launch of Apple TV+. Some analysts are even speculating that Apple may be laying the groundwork for an iPhone subscription.

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Amazon makes grocery delivery free for Prime subscribers

In a bid to make a stronger claim for the top position in the competitive food delivery business in the US, Amazon has abolished the grocery delivery fee for Prime members. Earlier, Amazon members had to pay a $14.99 monthly subscription fee for its Amazon Fresh grocery deliveries. Notably, two-hour Whole Foods deliveries are already available to many Prime customers using the Prime Now app. Can Amazon win the grocery wars in the US?

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Can HBO Max take on the mighty Netflix?

AT&T-owned WarnerMedia has released new details about its upcoming SVOD service HBO Max. The platform will launch in May 2020 and cost $14.99 per month, with most of the existing HBO Now subscribers automatically upgraded to the new HBO Max service. Along with a huge catalogue of HBO content, a big advantage for HBO Max over arch-rival Netflix is its ready-made distribution network.

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Netflix testing new feature to change playback speeds

Subscription giant Netflix is hyper-focused on introducing new features that improve the viewing experience on its platform. It is now reportedly testing a new feature that will allow Android phone users to change the playback speed of content. However, Hollywood has not taken to the decision kindly saying that it destroys the intended presentation of the content.

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Spotify launches Spotify Kids

Music streaming platform Spotify has launched a new app called Spotify Kids that aims to become a safe place for kids to explore and listen to music. The app has launched in Ireland with around 6,000 tracks curated by Spotify editors. The app requires a Spotify Premium Family subscription plan, which costs €14.99 per month ($14.99 per month in the US). In other company news, Spotify shares saw a sharp uptick after an unexpected rise in premium subscriptions boosted profits this quarter.

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Walmart to sell on-demand video service Vudu?

Retail giant Walmart is rumoured to be looking to sell its video streaming platform Vudu. According to reports, Walmart identified that it would have to invest heavily to compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. The company has ultimately found that Vudu is not core to its business.

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YouTube Music gets Siri integration

YouTube Music has rolled out new features in a bid to compete with other music streaming rivals. The latest additions include Siri support for iOS devices, a desktop app and an Android widget. Siri will be able to play YouTube Music on Apple devices with the iOS 13.2 update.

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Citrix’s subscription push delivers in the third quarter

US software company Citrix is reaping the benefits of moving towards the subscription model. The company reported Q3 earnings of $271 million, with subscription revenue accounting for 14% of total revenue. Citrix said that its subscription revenue growth of 43% in the quarter offset a decline of 23% in perpetual product and licence revenue.

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Also read: Amazon acquires health startup Health Navigator