Apple Music Officially Hits 50 Million Subscribers

The busy holiday season pushed Apple Music up to 50 million paid subscriptions.

According to a report from the Financial Times last November, Apple Music had 56 million subscribers.

The financial newspaper dropped that number while discussing the company’s future plans.  It remained unclear whether this included paid and trial users, or only paid subscriptions.

Apple has reportedly explored making a sizable equity investment in iHeartMedia.  This, wrote FT, would help the Cupertino company beef up its floundering Beats 1 Radio service.

Another option Apple has considered is outright purchasing iHeartRadio’s streaming platform.  This would serve as a “relatively cheap way” to reach the service’s 120 million registered users.

Now, following the report, Apple has released its own official subscriber numbers.

50 million and counting.

The Cupertino company has released its first-quarter results.

Apple posted quarterly revenue of $84.3 billion, a surprising 5% decline year-over-year.  Quarterly earnings per diluted share totaled $4.18, up 7.5%.  International sales accounted for 62 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

Underscoring the smartphone’s weakening sales, iPhone revenue dropped 15%.  Meanwhile, revenue from all other products and services grew 19%.  Services revenue – Apple Music, iTunes, iCloud, etc. – reached an all-time high of $10.9 billion, up 9% year-over-year.

Revenue from Mac and Wearables as well as Home and Accessories grew 9% and 33%, respectively.  iPad revenue grew 17%.

During an earnings conference call Tuesday, CEO Tim Cook confirmed that Apple Music officially hit 50 million subscribers over the busy holiday season.

The last official number was 50 million, which included paid and trial users.  Apple Music’s latest numbers only include paid subscriptions.

In addition, the Cupertino company has confirmed a new partnership.

Starting Friday, Apple Music subscribers can now access their library on domestic American Airlines flights.  They can connect to the airlines’ Viasat satellite Wi-Fi with no Wi-Fi purchase required.

Apple’s partnership with American Airlines underscores Oliver Schusser’s latest strategy.

Under the current Vice President of Apple Music, the company has unveiled partnerships with Amazon and Verizon Wireless.  The streaming music service has also finally rolled out on Android tablets.