New Model for AOL May Influence Cable's Future, NY Times,
August 26, 2002.
AOL Keep Its Subscribers in a New World of Broadband?,
NY Times, July 29, 2002.
It's Microsoft vs. the World, NY Times
Yet they point to market research that suggests AOL has vulnerabilities.
The data shows that more than 3 percent of AOL subscribers quit the
service each month, an annual churn rate of more than eight million
subscribers. About 15 percent of AOL subscribers get a busy signal
during the most popular evening hours while the failure rate for MSN is
AOL Everywhere; time on-line has increased to 55 minutes/day.
The Load At AOL: has more than 15 million users and moves 42
million e-mails and 309 million instant messages per day.
at 13 Million: Finally a 'Mass Market'?; 750,000 users
simultaneously log on during peak usage.
Critic Nips at the Heels of a Giant (AOL critics)
- "[AOL] members spend an average of 23 hours online each month,
compared with seven hours before the flat rate pricing was introduced in
December 1996. More than 22 million e-mail messages pass through its
network every day." (NYT, 2/9/98)
- "America Online announced Monday it had surpassed the 10 million
mark...; ... bringing the number of available modems to more than
600,000. He said 520,000 members use the service during peak hours." NYT
- "On the other hand, the killer app of the Internet remains the chat
room, with AOL alone boasting of 1 million chat hours in 14,000
different forums every day. Voice chat, which would bring popular
so-called 'party lines' to the Internet, could soon be the next big
- "We handle 17 million pieces of e-mail a day," [Primrose] said.
"That's up from 5 million a day in November 1996." AOL uses 4 terabytes
of disk space to process regular e-mail and 8 terabytes for attachments,
she said. NYT,
- Primrose said that AOL was now handling 13 million pieces of e-mail a
day, compared with 5 million pieces last November, before the company
went to flat-rate pricing. NYT
- Email being sent through America Online has been delayed since Monday
due to an unusual spike in mail, according to AOL spokeswoman Tricia
Primrose. AOL added new mail servers, now handling about 1 million
messages an hour, but the residual effects of the original jam are
lingering. Primrose could not say exactly when the system would run
smoothly, adding that the volume of email sent to and from the online
service has doubled from 5 to 10 million messages since December, when
AOL began offering flat-rate pricing.
- After AOL switched to flat-rate pricing, "the number of daily
sessions increased by one-third, to 9 million - totaling 3.1 million
hours of connection time -- but the average America Online subscriber is
staying on line 20 percent longer than before... The number of
additional lines was up 14 percent in the last year, while the overall
increase in phone lines grew just 2 percent." (NYT)
- 5 million subscribers; total hourly use for the quarter was over 77
million hours (= 10 mins/user/day). Over 28 million Web "hits" per
day processed; Web accounts for 11% of total usage; Over 4 million
pieces of e-mail delivered daily (half is Internet mail); Access is
migrating to AOL's own network, AOLNet, with 40% of total usage coming
in via AOLNet.
Two thirds don't go over 5 hours. The average AOL subscriber pays
AOL: 7 million pieces of e-mail. The maximum number of simultaneous
log-ons at the end of September 1996 was 140,000. That has already risen to
180,000. The Web system was serving 30 million URLs a day in July. Now
it's up to 100 million URLs a day. (USPS: 580 million pieces a day)
- 170,000 modems 10/18/96
- 250,000 modems for 7.5 mio members 1/97.
- 400,000 modems by 7/1/97 (20 members/modem).
"In December , America Online customers logged a record 102
million hours on line, up from 45 million hours in September. The
average America Online member now spends 32 minutes a day on line, up
from 14 minutes in September. ... 4,500 customer representatives" NYT
Online Services Seen Peaking In Two Years
Friday February 16, 1996
BOSTON - A leading technology research firm says use of the major
online services will peak in just two years, capping a meteoric five
year rise when they went from virtually no subscribers to 15 million.
Forrester Research is predicting in a new study that 1998 will be the
peak year for the online providers, CompuServe and America Online.
After that, the research firm said, consumers will link directly to
the Internet and ignore the onlines. A key reason for the forecasted
decline is that content providers will abandon the online services and
sell their information directly to consumers on the World Wide Web,
the graphical portion of the Internet that consumers can navigate with
software browsers. "As soon as content providers can be sure of
eyeballs and revenue somewhere else, they'll ditch the proprietary
networks in a second," said Forrester's Emily Green, the researcher
who wrote the report titled "Online Unravels." The content providers
are likely to create loose alliances of publishers on the Internet,
since the online services are not paying them enough to keep them on
board. The result will be a steady decline in online subscriptions,
while direct Internet subscriptions will climb from just 5 million
this year to 32 million in four years. The onlines will drop from
15.8 million subscribers in 1998 to 12.5 million two years later, the
Every day ...
- went online 8.5 million times per day. That's almost 6000 times per
- posted 220,000 messages to AOL message boards;
- read 3 million postings in AOL message boards;
- downloaded 700 gigabytes of data with 3.3 million downloads
- downloaded 760,000 pieces of software;
- read 4 million Internet newsgroup articles
- posted well more than 10,000 times to Internet newsgroups
- were online 15 minutes longer than usual when you logged on
- stayed online for 3 million hours (that's up from 2.2 million hours
"Our planned and unplanned downtime is down to just 1 percent,
compared with 3.5 percent last year." (1/23/97)
According to a study commissioned by AT&T from Santa Clara,
California-based Inverse Network Technologies, users calling AT&T
WorldNet between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. manage to get through 93.4 percent
of the time. Users calling AOL during the same hours, meanwhile, manage
to connect just 36.7 percent of the time. (1/23/97)
by Henning Schulzrinne