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AOL Still Exists… And Really, Really Shouldn’t

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An unnamed former AOL executive has whispered a few choice sweet nothings into the ear of the New Yorker, not the least revealing of which may be that allegedly 75% of subscribers to the service “don’t need it”.

“The company still gets eighty percent of its profits from subscribers,” explains the New Yorker‘s Ken Auletta, “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.”

That $25 dollars just happens to be the old dial-up fee, from way back when the internet was a joke by today’s standards. That’s right – AOL is quietly still pulling that money from the elderly and other folk who simply don’t know how to internet. And some might call that more than a little despicable.

A quick peek at AOL’s latest SEC filing reveals that in fact a more modest 43% of revenue comes from subscribers… not that it makes the practice of siphoning money out of those subscribers’ pockets any less dastardly. Then again, the filing also reveals a paltry 4.1m subscribers at all – perhaps sneakiness is the desperate measure AOL’s desperate times have called for. Or maybe AOL should just finally straight-up die.

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