Thursday, July 26, 2012 at 3:23 pm.

AOL Dialup Just Had Its ‘Best’ Quarter In A Decade, And Still Has 3 Million Subscribers

The headline from AOL’s earnings report this week is that its turnaround as a digital media and advertising company is slowly starting to show progress.

But did you know that AOL still has 3 million dialup “access” subscribers — generating a third of the company’s revenue and likely most of its profit? That might be more paying U.S. subscribers than Spotify and Hulu Plus have combined.

AOL finished June with 3.03 million subscribers, down just 84,000 from the prior quarter and 400,000 from a year ago. While the dialup industry is obviously in permanent decline, AOL’s subscriber losses last quarter were less than half what they were a year ago.

So, in one sense, AOL dialup just had its best quarter in a decade — at least when measured by subscriber losses. AOL attributes this to “significant subscriber retention efforts and by the continued maturation of the tenured base”. In other words, the longer people stay, the longer they’re likely to stay (whether on purpose or by accident).

AOL Q2 2012 Subscribers Chart