RealTime IT News

AOL, CompuServe Reach 3 Million International Subscribers

America Online Inc. said Tuesday its flagship AOL service now has more than 2 million members outside the United States, bringing the total number of AOL and CompuServe international subscribers to 3 million.

The membership milestone comes three years after AOL launched its service globally in Germany. It took AOL's U.S. service 10 years to reach 2 million members. The company currently claims 15 million U.S. users. AOL acquired CompuServe last year.

AOL International provides AOL and CompuServe localized services in 10 countries and five languages.

In a joint venture with European media conglomerate Bertelsmann AG, AOL operates AOL and CompuServe brands in Europe, with more than 2.4 million members. CompuServe-branded European services are available in the U.K., France, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands. In addition, AOL also operates AOL Canada, a wholly-owned subsidiary of America Online, Inc. In Asia, AOL operates a service in Japan with joint venture partners Mitsui and Nikkei and the company recently launched a service in Australia with Bertelsmann AG.

AOL plans to launch a Chinese and English language service in Hong Kong with China Internet Corp. (CIC) in 1999. In December, AOL announced it will launch services in Latin America with joint venture partner Cisneros Group of Companies.

"The continued extraordinary growth outside the United States proves the global power of the AOL brand," said Bob Pittman, America Online's president and chief operating officer.

"The convenience and ease-of-use of AOL transcends borders and appeals to consumers everywhere. All around the world, people are discovering that AOL is the best way to communicate with family, friends and business associates, find information, meet new people, shop, and just have fun."