How much money? According to their most recent quarterly earnings statement, which was released this morning, about a third of the company’s revenue still comes from members who pay a monthly AOL subscription bill. The actual figure is $196.1 million, or 196 distressed babies’ worth of money. That number doesn’t include people who retain free accounts so they can keep their AOL e-mail addresses. The company takes in an average of $19.41 per paying customer per month, but they’re losing about 9% of their subscribers every year. Their subscriber total is down from 2.54 million after the second quarter last year.
The dialup part of this equation is what actually makes sense. Dialup access is dialup access, and in areas where broadband isn’t an option, seven bucks a month gets them unlimited dialup time, a deal that I would have loved back in 1995 or so. Membership also includes other products of questionable value, like a 10% Sprint discount and access to AOL’s Computer Cleanup service.
Where this becomes an issue of consumer outrage is when we learn that people still pay AOL for Internet services that are not dialup, even though AOL e-mail is free, and they don’t need to do so. Maybe the recent spam-blasting incident that happened to AOL subscribers will cause a further exodus.
Q1 2014 Earnings Release [AOL]