Are AOL Subscribers Dense?

Paul Lilly

First and foremost, you might be surprised to learn that people still subscribe to AOL, the once popular ISP that fell from relevance about the time broadband came into its own. But get this -- according to The New Yorker , some 80 percent of AOL profits still come from its subscription business. It gets even better.

The New Yorker describes these subscribers as "older people who have cable or DSL service but don't realize that they need not pay an additional $25 a month to get online and check their email."

We're not talking about a small fraction of users, either. BusinessInsider said it spoke with a former AOL exec who said that AOL's "dirty little secret" is "that 75 percent of the people subscribe to AOL's dial-up service don't need it." When you consider that AOL raked in $244 million from 4 million customers in the third quarter of 2010, you can see where this could be troubling.

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