Big tech like Apple, Amazon and Facebook are thriving in lockdown
Apple’s revenues jumped 11% year-on-year to US $59.7 billion between April and June with profits of $10 billion to 11.25 billion.
The division in which Apple Music is housed grew its net sales to $13.2 billion.
No wonder the California-based company announced a $50 million Advance Royalty scheme to ensure indie artists would continue to be paid during the pandemic.
Those on indie labels with a direct distribution deal with Apple Music and which earn $10,000 a quarter from the platform will be paid the same level of royalties from previous earnings
Apple Music says is plans to recover the advances from future earnings.
Amazon’s sales soared 40% with profits of $5.2 billion: the biggest since its 1994 launch.
Amazon’s chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky said Prime benefits including music and video were rolled out to countries outside the US – like Australia – earlier than planned.
He also said Australia was one of the best performers alongside India, the Middle East and Brazil.
Daily active users on Facebook were up 12% year-on-year to nearly 1.79 billion in Q2 while numbers on platforms including Instagram rose by 15% to 2.4 billion.
Quarterly revenue growth of 11% was slower than in other quarters but ahead of analyst expectations as small businesses upped their ad spend in response to its user increase.
More people spent time on the Google-owned YouTube but revenue fell to $3.8 billion from $4 billion in Q1, as the pandemic ate into advertising. But it started to grow again in July.
In February, Google revealed that YouTube TV and YouTube Music generated $3 billion a year. But the timing of the revenue and profits was not the best for these digital companies.
Last week, they were being drilled by lawmakers in the US about their individual market share, and if they were abusing their power to stamp on rivals.
Congressman David Cicilline, who leads the investigation, said it was obvious that greater online activity due to the lockdown would make them even more powerful
“Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, these corporations already stood out as titans,” he said. “In the wake of COVID-19, they are likely to emerge stronger and more powerful than ever before.”