Messi mania drives massive uptick in Apple TV Plus and MLS subscriptions

Messi TV Plus
(Image credit: Apple)

A new report into the impact of Lionel Messi’s arrival to the MLS has revealed that Apple’s MLS Season Pass service saw 110,000 new sign-ups in a single day on his debut, up from a paltry 6,143 the day before. 

Messi’s decision to sign for Inter Miami has proven to be a huge boon for the league, driving a stream of increasing ticket prices, viewing figures, and celebrity guests at his games since the start of the season. 

It’s not just the MLS that is benefiting. According to new figures, customers are also flocking to Apple TV Plus, likely to take advantage of the better pricing offered to MLS Season Pass subscribers.

Messi by the numbers 

According to figures from Antenna, as reported by WSJ, “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,” a bigger jump than both the MLS Season Pass launch and the opening day of the season. 

What’s more, Apple TV Plus enjoyed its best month this year for new U.S. customers. MLS Season Pass is $2 a month cheaper for Apple TV Plus subscribers, so it’s no surprise that prospective MLS customers are picking it up, especially given how easy it is to get Apple TV Plus for free these days. 

Antenna chief executive Jonathan Carson revealed, “Sports are definitely star-driven but that has never before translated into an enormous subscriber bump.” CEO Tim Cook said the same, telling investors on an August earnings call that Apple was “beating” its expectations in terms of subscribers, in part thanks to Lionel Messi. According to the figures, it was Messi’s debut that drove the biggest single jump in subs, the aforementioned 110,000 boost. However, Messi’s second game also yielded a further 65,000 subscriptions, and the numbers show a pretty healthy increase in daily subscriptions across the board. With Apple having invested a small fortune in its MLS streaming bid, it will certainly be encouraging to see that a star like Messi is helping to drive the numbers. 

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9