Friday, January 31, 2003

Boston Globe Online / Business / In a first, AOL loses US members

Boston Globe Online / Business / In a first, AOL loses US members "When AOL Time Warner Inc. reported financial results Wednesday, the record $98.7 billion loss posted by the giant company, and the surprise resignation of media maverick Ted Turner, garnered headlines around the world.
But beneath the surface, another figure marked a seminal moment for Northern Virginia-based America Online Inc., the media company's Internet unit: The number of US subscribers fell for the first time ever on a quarterly basis, dropping by 170,000 in the last three months of 2002. The dip occurred despite the aggressive launch last fall of the company's newest software, AOL 8.0; the distribution of millions of free AOL computer disks; and the outlay of more than $1 billion on advertising and promotion last year.
''The modest decline in AOL's subscriber base will spark renewed fears over AOL's long-term viability,'' investment firm J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. told investors."

Somehow I suspect there will be a Microsoft MSN press release touting gains in their subscriber base in a day or two...
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