Thursday, May 01, 2008

AOL’s Blame Game: The Guy We Fired Did It - Bits - Technology - New York Times Blog

A stark AOL reality check; see the full article for more details

All this said, the increase in pageviews is indeed good news for AOL. AOL’s traditional front page and e-mail are stabilizing, the company said. And its content properties — Engadget, TMZ and so on — are growing nicely.

There was another tidbit of good news. AOL only lost 647,000 of its Internet dial-up subscribers, who pay an average of more than $18 a month to use the service. The company still has 8.7 million subscribers. That’s down from 18.6 million two years ago, but AOL may finally be stabilizing with a base of people who actually want dial-up service rather than those who were keeping the subscriptions active simply to avoid changing their e-mail addresses. (If you are still in that group, here’s a hint: You can now keep your AOL.com e-mail without paying the fee.)

Over all, profits at AOL are still declining. The advertising network business has much lower profit margins than selling ads on AOL’s own sites. Still, if the company can’t find a path to stable growth (which has eluded it for most of the decade), the search for scapegoats will no doubt continue.

AOL’s Blame Game: The Guy We Fired Did It - Bits - Technology - New York Times Blog

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