RealTime IT News

Worldwide AOL Membership Cracks 30 Million Mark

Worldwide subscriptions to America Online, Inc., has surpassed the 30 million milestone with 24 million U.S. members and another 6 million foreign subscribers. The AOL subscription base has now doubled over the last two and a half years.

Outside of the US, there now are AOL services in 16 countries in eight languages. Last month, AOL Latin America's membership surpassed 750,000, and the AOL service in France topped the million-member milestone.

"This tremendous expansion underscores how central the interactive medium is becoming to everyday life around the world and the increasing value that the AOL service delivers. At the same time, we are committed to making the Internet as valuable as possible to our subscribers by staying focused on their needs," said Barry Schuler, AOL's chairman and chief executive officer. "In addition, we continue to expand our roster of strategic marketing partners to reach more consumers and to offer exciting new opportunities for our advertising and commerce partners."

According to AOL, the Internet is the fastest-growing mass medium in history, outpacing the worldwide expansion of broadcast television, radio, cable TV and the telephone.

America Online expects this year's launch of its next-generation AOL 7.0 service and the continued rollout of AOL Anywhere initiatives to drive the future growth of the service.

Based on member feedback, AOL 7.0 was designed to deliver a new level of convenience and benefits, including a new look and feel, more localized experience, broadband and narrowband programming, advances in online music, You've Got Pictures 2.0, and enhancements to core features like AOL Mail, Buddy List and instant messaging.

The Dulles, Va.-based company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AOL Time Warner , is also launching the next-generations of the AOLTV service, AOL for Palm operating systems, AOLbyPhone service, AOL Alerts service, and the Instant AOL service on the Gateway Connected TouchPad, as well as a new version of software for the AOL Mobile Communicator and an enhanced version of AOL Anywhere Web site.