80% Of AOL's Revenue Is Subscribers, 75% Of Whom Don't Need It

A New Yorker profile this week details how 80% of AOL’s revenue comes from subscriptions, and, according to an ex-AOL exec, 75% of those users are people who subscribe to the dial-up service and don’t need. Basically we’re talking about folks who have another kind of ISP and don’t realize that you don’t need to pay AOL anymore if you’re just using it for email. The group can be further divided into two sub-groups, the old, and the lazy. Here’s a step-by-step process for canceling AOL and saving some cash while still keeping access to your AOL email account.

UPDATE: A number of readers, along with members of the Reddit community, have pointed out that only about 40% of AOL’s revenue comes from subscribers, rather than the 80% cited by The New Yorker. While the abstract posted on The New Yorker’s free site refers to 80% of revenue coming from subscriptions, the full article behind the site’s paywall actually refers to subscriber income accounting for 80% of profits. AOL’s most recent financial filings confirm that the company brings in about 43% of its revenue from subscriptions, and that subscriptions represent the “vast majority” of the company’s operating income.

You’ve Got News [The New Yorker]
AOL’s “Dirty Secret”: Email This Post To Your Parents And Grandparents To Make Sure They Aren’t Paying AOL When They Don’t Have To [Silicon Alley Insider]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.