RealTime IT News

EarthLink Reports 1 Million Members, Estimates Record Fourth Quarter

Internet provider EarthLink Network Inc. has topped 1 million subscribers after more than doubling its member base during 1998.

The Pasadena, Calif., company late Monday said the milestone came about one or two months ahead of its previous estimates. EarthLink Chairman Sky Dayton said the achievement comes after an incredible year for the company.

"1998 was an incredible year, not only for EarthLink, but for the Internet as well. The Internet arrived in the mass market, so much so that the entire technology industry has now reoriented itself to be Internet-centric," he said.

Approximately 185,000 new members were added during the fourth quarter, compared to 60,000 in the quarter a year ago, for an increase of 300 percent.

EarthLink President Garry Beatty attributed the subscriber milestone to the company's aggressive efforts to gain new members through partnerships with long distance carrier Sprint and computer makers.

"Our marketing programs with Sprint, in addition to a desktop presence on leading machines like Apple Computer's iMac and a number of Packard Bell NEC models, and our partnerships with CompUSA and other leading retailers, really helped put EarthLink's software in the hands of people ready to surf the Internet for the first time," he said.

The strong subscriber growth is also expected to have a positive impact on revenues. EarthLink is estimating its fourth-quarter revenues will total about $58.3 million, 138 percent higher than the year-ago figure of $24.5 million.