AOL Set to Break Membership Records

Thanks in large part to the launch of its CompuServe 2000 service, America Online Inc. Tuesday announced it will report a record growth for the first quarter.

AOL (AOL), which has dominated the Internet service provider market for years, reported a membership of 18 million in August and is set to beat that a growth record when the new numbers are released later this month.

The launch of CompuServe 2000 in the spring added more than 300,000 members to the AOL network, the company said. The company credited CompuServe 2000’s summer $400 PC rebate offer, software distribution and aggressive advertising for the membership growth. To facilitate growth, AOL said it will extend its PC rebate program into the holiday season.

“AOL’s ability to further widen the gap in the premium segment and CompuServe’s emergence as the leader in the value segment underscores the continuing momentum and strength of our business,” said Bob Pittman, America Online’s president and chief operating officer.

“We are extremely pleased with our aggressive entry into the smaller value segment of the market. CompuServe 2000 is taking the category by storm. At the same time, AOL’s flagship brand continues to attract at a record pace the mass-market consumer who wants a premium, full-service answer to their Internet online needs.”

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