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Apple’s Major League Soccer Season Pass, in partnership with the world-renowned tech giant, is making waves in the streaming world. Apple CEO Tim Cook himself acknowledged the influence of football sensation Lionel Messi on this subscription service.
Recent reports reveal an astonishing surge of 110,000 new sign-ups on the day of Messi’s first game with Inter Miami. This surge propels the MLS Season Pass to new heights, with well over 2 million subscribers and a substantial impact on Apple TV+ subscriptions.
In a groundbreaking move, Apple inked a decade-long exclusive streaming rights deal for Major League Soccer. This comprehensive agreement covers all regular season matches and Leagues Cup games, with Apple reportedly investing around $250 million annually for these rights.
This strategic maneuver has unquestionably paid off. Just this July, reports indicated that the MLS Season Pass had nearly one million subscribers. However, following Messi’s entry into the league, Inter Miami club owner Jorge Mas tweeted that subscriptions had doubled, marking a new total of approximately 2 million.
Although Tim Cook didn’t disclose exact numbers, he expressed his satisfaction with the venture, singling out Messi’s pivotal role: “We are surpassing our subscription expectations, and Messi’s addition to Inter Miami gave us a significant boost. We are thrilled with the results.”
According to a recent Wall Street Journal report citing analytics from Antenna, the impact of Messi’s inaugural MLS match was nothing short of seismic. On July 21, when the Argentine superstar adorned an Inter Miami jersey for the first time, the MLS Season Pass welcomed over 110,000 new U.S. subscribers. This was a staggering surge compared to the mere 6,143 sign-ups the previous day, as revealed by subscription analytics firm Antenna.
Remarkably, this increase surpassed even the initial release day of the MLS Season Pass and the opening day of the season.
The ripple effect of this surge extended to Apple’s streaming service, Apple TV+. The subsidized MLS Season Pass deal effectively reduces the cost of accessing the entire content library. Consequently, Apple reported its best month for Apple TV+ subscriptions to date.
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For those who subscribe to both Apple TV+ and the MLS Season Pass, the package is available at $12.99 per month or $39 per season. For standalone MLS Season Pass subscribers, the cost is slightly higher at $14.99 per month or $49 per season.
Jonathan Carson, CEO of Antenna, noted another favorable aspect for Apple: the loyalty of sports subscribers. Unlike viewers who often binge-watch and quickly cancel streaming services after completing a series, sports seasons span months. This extended engagement period allows Apple to introduce viewers to a variety of programming, ensuring a more enduring and profitable subscriber relationship.