Like it or not, subscriptions appear to be the wave of the future, and Apple isn’t keen on getting left behind. Just a few years ago, for example, Apple realized that the iTunes business model it introduced more than a decade earlier was becoming antiquated. In turn, Apple in 2014 acquired Beats and subsequently rolled out Apple Music — a Spotify competitor — just one year later. Though Apple Music launched with a number of frustrating bugs and UI issues, Apple’s music streaming service currently boasts more U.S. based subscribers than Spotify — an impressive feat to say the least.
Apple, however, appears poised to embrace subscriptions with even more rigor in the years ahead. As a prime example, Apple over the past few months has been spending millions of dollars acquiring content for a TV streaming service that may or may not be bundled together with Apple Music. In light of that, a new research note from Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty (via Barron’s) relays that Apple stands poised to generate $37 billion in revenue from subscriptions by 2025.
Specifically, Huberty envisions a scenario where Apple offers an umbrella subscription price of $12.99 whereby users would have unfettered access to Apple Music, Apple’s collection of TV shows, and digital magazine content thanks to the company’s March 2018 acquisition of Texture.
Huberty’s note reads in part:
Combined with Apple’s stand-alone streaming music business, which we project grows into an $18 billion revenue generator over the same time period (from roughly $4 billion at the end of [calendar] 2018, streaming video and music would become a $22 billion business by 2025, roughly equal to the size of Netflix (NFLX) and Spotify Technology (SPOT) combined today but just 8% of Apple’s 2018 projected revenue.
Truth be told, it’s almost foolish to predict what the technological landscape is going to look like seven years down the road given how quickly things tend to change. Additionally, predicting future revenue based on said predictions is even less instructive. Regardless, Huberty is right about one thing: If Apple doesn’t strike licensing deals with third-parties for established movies and TV shows, an Apple Music/TV bundle is clearly the way to go and might one day prove to be a compelling offering.