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RealTime IT News

AOL Now Boasts 25 Million Members

America Online Inc. continued its torrid growth in the past month, declaring Tuesday that it had surpassed 25 million members worldwide. That means the online behemoth added about 400,000 subscribers since Sept. 30 -- and that's before the launch of AOL 6.0, scheduled to take place this week and possibly as early as tomorrow.

Just last Wednesday the company released its first quarter fiscal 2001 results, reporting that it added 1.4 million net new subscribers in the quarter to bring it to a total of more than 24.6 million members worldwide.

The company also said that it has added more than 6 million new members over the past year. AOL's international services have been especially strong; the company said its international services have experienced record-breaking subscriber growth as well as industry-leading usage over the past year. The past year saw the launch of AOL services in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, meaning AOL services are now available in 16 countries and eight languages.

"We are delighted to have reached the historic milestone of 25 million AOL members, underscoring our progress in building a mass market medium," said Steve Case, chairman and chief executive officer of AOL. "And we are continuing to add value to the AOL service for consumers -- making it easier, more convenient and more accessible anywhere, anytime -- as we look forward to our merger with Time Warner. We are on the verge of a second Internet revolution, whose impact on society will be even more profound, and AOL Time Warner will be uniquely positioned to help lead the way."

The company is anticipating that the launch of AOL 6.0 and other AOL Anywhere initiatives will continue to drive subscriber growth and usage while cross-marketing opportunities enabled by its impending merger with Time Warner will make the company even more attractive to advertisers.

"AOL's record-breaking membership worldwide shows the unmatched quality of the AOL experience and unsurpassed scope of our member benefits," said Bob Pittman, president and chief operating officer of AOL. "As AOL becomes more deeply embedded in our members' lives, member satisfaction has reached an all-time high. And mainstream advertisers are increasingly recognizing the opportunities AOL provides to build deeper relationships with their customers and make the Internet a central part of their business strategies. AOL Time Warner will accelerate this trend, enabling both companies to grow faster than either could on its own."

While the number of AOL subscribers is enormously important to the company's advertising customers, usage numbers are also key -- and AOL is no slouch there either. Speaking at Internet World Fall 2000 on Monday, Paul Corvino, senior vice president and general manager of Interactive Marketing for AOL, said AOL members now spend an average of 63 minutes online per day. That's up from 47 minutes per day in 1998 and just 14 minutes per day in 1996.

Corvino also said that AOL's population now mirrors the general population as far as gender is concerned. He said 48 percent of the AOL population is male and 52 percent is female, according to the July 1999 AOL/Roper Starch Cyberstudy. The general American population is 48 percent male and 52 percent female. In 1993, AOL's population was 85 percent male and 15 percent female, Corvino said. And, Corvino noted, 42 percent of AOL's population regularly shops online.

"That's not just a one-time shopper," he said.



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