Music Industry

Apple Says Music Revenue is Up 22% Over the Last Year. But What Does That Mean?

Apple announced Q4 financial results on Tuesday, wrapping up another fiscal year for The World’s Biggest Company.™ While they did beat expectations from analysts, iPhone sales were lower year over year (they say they can’t make iPhone 7s fast enough), margins slightly smaller and profits slightly lower. Still, it’s not like Apple is going out of business anytime soon. It brought in $46,9 billion over the last three months.

But what about Apple’s music division? It’s lumped under the umbrella of “services,” which also includes Apple Pay and Apple Care. Breaking out things a little bit, CEO Tim Cook says music revenues were up 22%. He also noted that Apple Music has 17 million subscribers.

Meanwhile, there was no mention of how iPod sales are doing. The device has been so well cannibalized by the iPhone that they don’t even report on them.

The most interesting thing about the analysts call (yes, I listen to these things) is that Apple’s R&D spending has increased dramatically, something that Cook says reflects all kinds of new products in the pipeline. Interesting.

Billboard has some further analysis here.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37921 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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