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Tech Stock News: Apple News+ Grabs Subscribers, and Snap Launches New Features

By Daniel Sparks – Apr 7, 2019 at 1:21PM

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Two Apple services show signs of success, and Snap's product announcements impress investors.

Tech giant Apple (AAPL -0.80%) and social network company Snap (SNAP -3.81%) were grabbing headlines this week. News from Cupertino-based Apple was wide-ranging, from subscriber numbers for its just-launched News+ app to the continued success of Apple Music. Meanwhile, Snap unveiled a number of new features for users and advertisers.

Here's a closer look.

Apple's News subscription service on a MacBook Air, iPad, and iPhone

Apple News+ Image source: Apple.

Apple

One of Apple's recently launched services, Apple News+, is off to a running start. The company garnered over 200,000 subscribers to the new service in the first 48 hours of its availability, according to a New York Times article on Tuesday. Of course, it's worth noting that 200,000 subscribers paying $10 a month annually is borderline immaterial compared to Apple's more than $260 billion in annual revenue.  Furthermore, subscribers are currently on a one-month free trial.

Nevertheless, the service's meaningful start adds another layer to the company's ecosystem of hardware, software, and services, giving some Apple customers one more reason to stick around and buy more products or pay for other services. 

In more Apple services news, the company's Apple Music service has now surpassed Spotify (SPOT -2.49%) in terms of paying users, according to The Wall Street Journal. Apple Music ended February with 28 million subscribers in the U.S., while Spotify had 26 million at the time, sources familiar with the matter told the Journal.

Other news from Apple includes a price cut to its smart speaker and new AirPods-like headphones under its Beats brand.

Snap

At an event on Thursday, Snapchat announced a range of new features. Perhaps the most notable new features were a mobile gaming platform and a new advertiser network.

Snap Games, which can be launched from the chat bar within the app, is a mobile gaming network enabling friends to play together while sending messages to each other or voice chatting. "It feels like you're sitting shoulder to shoulder, playing on the same screen," the company said about the new product in a press release Thursday. Snapchat is monetizing the gaming network with ads. 

The company also announced a new ad platform for marketers called Snap Audience Network, which will launch in the "coming months." The ad network gives marketers on its platform a way to reach an audience in apps beyond Snapchat.

Snapchat also said it is launching original shows made specifically to be watched on smartphones.

Investors were happy with the news, as Snap stock jumped 5% on Friday.

Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. The Motley Fool has the following options: short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple and long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

Apple Stock Quote
Apple
AAPL
$146.63 (-0.80%) $-1.18
Snap Stock Quote
Snap
SNAP
$10.10 (-3.81%) $0.40
Spotify Technology Stock Quote
Spotify Technology
SPOT
$78.31 (-2.49%) $-2.00

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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