UPDATE: This post originally assumed that all of AOL's subscribers received dial-up. According to AOL's corporate communication office, there are various plans offered and dial-up is not included in all of them. However, AOL declined to say what percentage of subscribers did not receive dial-up.
Ken Auletta's big New Yorker piece on AOL (subscription only) this week revealed an interesting detail about the company's inner workings. According to Auletta, 80% of AOL's profits come from subscribers, and 75% of those subscribers are paying for something they don't actually need.
Auletta lays out how this works:
The company still gets eighty percent of its profits from subscribers, many of whom are older people who have cable or DSL service but don't realize that they need not pay an additional twenty-five dollars a month to get online and check their e-mail. "The dirty little se
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