If there was any doubt about the impact of Lionel Messi on Apple TV+, those doubts should be eliminated. For those unfamiliar with Messi, he is perhaps the greatest footballer (soccer player) in history. He has scored over 500 goals in his career and, over the summer, signed with the MLS team Inter Miami. His impact was instantly felt, leading Inter Miami to the Leagues Cup (the first ever). MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+ has significantly increased subscriptions since Messi’s arrival.
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Messi’s impact on subscriptions for Apple has been nothing short of impressive.
MLS Season Pass saw more than 110,000 new U.S. sign-ups on July 21, when the Argentine donned a pink jersey for his first match with Inter Miami, up from 6,143 the prior day, subscription analytics company Antenna found. That was a bigger jump than both the day MLS Season Pass became available and opening day of the season.
Apple—which has the exclusive rights to show MLS games and distribute MLS Season Pass—enjoyed a bump in subscriptions to its $6.99 a month Apple TV+ streaming service in July as well, Antenna found, making it the strongest month for new U.S. customers this year. While Messi also has a large following internationally, including his home country of Argentina, overseas subscribers aren’t captured in Antenna’s data.
Nearly half of those who paid for MLS Season Pass from February through July were existing Apple TV+ subscribers, according to Antenna, an indication that the deal is resonating with current customers of the tech giant. Fifteen percent of those who signed up for MLS Season Pass during that period also signed up for Apple TV+.
Antenna’s data covers U.S. sign-ups only and uses third-party services that collect consumer information, with permission, from sources including online purchase receipts, bills and banking records. Its data don’t include subscriptions offered through bundles.
The signing of Messi was a boon for MLS, Inter Miami, and, by extension, Apple.