Vying for the title of Least Transparent in a streaming video business that's notoriously tightlipped about programming performance, subscriber metrics and just about every other interesting data point you can think of, Apple CEO Tim Cook took a moment from his company's boffo third-quarter earnings report to tout some of Apple TV Plus' standout shows.
"Apple TV plus users are loving series like Mythic Quest and anticipating groundbreaking films like CODA, which premieres next month," Cook said, after reporting a 36% year-over-year uptick in quarterly revenue to $81.4 billion.
Profits $21.7 billion, an all-time high for Apple's spring quarter, on brisk 5G-capable iPhone 12 sales. In fact, iPhone revenue was up 50% year over year to $39.6 billion during the April-June period.
"And of course, Ted Lasso kicked off Season 2 just last week and continues to win over viewers with its heartwarming message about the power of community, compassion and hope," Cook added.
Cook's comments came a day after Apple announced that the Season 2 debut of Ted Lasso last Friday produced Apple TV Plus' biggest premiere numbers ever ... without disclosing any numbers.
Ted Lasso, a comedy staring Jason Sudeikis as an American football coach from Kansas who steps in to coach big-league UK soccer, scored 20 of Apple TV Plus' 35 Emmy nominations earlier this month.
Mythic Quest, a workplace comedy produced by the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia team, and also starring core member Rob McElhenney as the creative leader of an online video game company, received just two minor Emmy noms. But critics have been unanimous in their praise, evidenced by the 100% Rotten Tomatoes score.
As for CODA, it was a buzz film at the Sundance Film Festival that Apple picked up for a record-setting $25 million.
Of course, when your market capitalization hovers just below $2.5 trillion, and subscription video is just this thing you do to entice consumers to buy things like iPhone 12s, you say only what you need to say.
All in all, "cloud services, a grouping that includes Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, Apple Card, Apple Fitness+, as well as the Apple One bundle, saw revenue increase to an all-time high of $17.5 billion in the quarter. Total subscribers for these business reached 700 million, up 150 million from a year ago.
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. His reliable mid-range jump shot, deft ambidextrous post-up game and tough interior defense have been criminally overlooked.
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