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(The Consumerist)   75% of AOL's revenue comes from our grandmas   ( consumerist.com) divider line
    More: Silly, AOL, dun, revenue comes, ISP  
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11951 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Jan 2011 at 8:09 PM (6 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



88 Comments     (+0 »)
 


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2011-01-22 01:49:35 PM  
I think the Nigerians could make a lot more money if they just focused their efforts on people who have aol.com emails.
 
2011-01-22 01:53:13 PM  
My grandmas have had AOL's ouija-board package for a long time.
 
2011-01-22 02:43:40 PM  
Considering only 45% of AOL revenue comes from subscriptions I don't think this is an accurate story. Not that Consumerist cares about accuracy.

45% = Subs
53% = Advertising
2% = "other"
 
2011-01-22 06:18:24 PM  
consumerist.com

This looks familiar.
 
2011-01-22 06:33:05 PM  
I worked customer service for AOL as a kid. They had the most ridiculous customer service practices I've even heard of.
 
2011-01-22 07:33:18 PM  

Relatively Obscure: This looks familiar


They'd be a lot more popular among geeks today if the optical media they give away were RW.

I must have had a hundred of those floppies at one time.
 
2011-01-22 07:35:24 PM  
This showed up when I signed off the other day

i566.photobucket.com

/Yes I have an @aol account
//Uses it to consolidate all my real email
///too lazy to change it
////NO I don't pay for it
 
2011-01-22 07:36:23 PM  

Relatively Obscure: This looks familiar.


I goatse what you did there.
 
2011-01-22 08:04:18 PM  

xynix: Considering only 45% of AOL revenue comes from subscriptions I don't think this is an accurate story. Not that Consumerist cares about accuracy.

45% = Subs
53% = Advertising
2% = "other"


And according to the Wall Street Journal, 80% of their revenue is subscribers. According to Consumerist, 75% of those are idiots. No word on what percentage are seniors.

So, I suppose you could say 60% of AOL revenue is from idiots. Which is not at all surprising.
 
2011-01-22 08:10:55 PM  
1+1=3
 
2011-01-22 08:16:54 PM  
according to an ex-AOL exec, 75% of those users are people who subscribe to the dial-up service and don't need

You mean "got signed up decades ago and AOL won't stop charging their credit card and they're too cowed to cancel the whole bloody mess and change banks to avoid the whole goddamned fiasco that their life has become."
 
2011-01-22 08:18:51 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: according to an ex-AOL exec, 75% of those users are people who subscribe to the dial-up service and don't need

You mean "got signed up decades ago and AOL won't stop charging their credit card and they're too cowed to cancel the whole bloody mess and change banks to avoid the whole goddamned fiasco that their life has become."


Just last week my mother was telling me how she cancelled my grandmother's AOL account that she had for years and never needed, and what a pain in the ass it was.
 
2011-01-22 08:24:05 PM  
I fix home PCs... and I advertise in the local Yellow Pages, which means my target demographic looks like Andy Rooney. (Hey, their checks clear...)

I've had dozens of customers exactly like this: they have high-speed Internet, and they pay AOL for... um, nothing. I explain this to them, then I help them change to the "free" plan unless they don't want to (a few of them keep paying so they can use AOL dialup once a year or so, because they can't figure out how to steal borrow WiFi on vacation).

This reminds me of leased telephones: somewhere, an old lady is still paying monthly for a rotary dial extension in her kitchen.
 
2011-01-22 08:24:33 PM  
Hey, I realize I just don't get it, but what is the actual difference between say, AOL 1995 and Facebook 2010?

Both are entities hoping to create semi-closed in worlds of users.... Trying to get companies to establish their presence in their semi-closed in world. Emails. Chatrooms. Games.

Is facebook just the new updated AOL that AOL missed out on becoming?

The Internet used to cool for AOL, but now the Internet became such a loser that Facebook was able to successfully wall it out?

Is Facebook the Internet for Innovators and Early Adopters, or is it AOL for laggards and late adopters?
 
2011-01-22 08:25:29 PM  
AOL should buy Radio Shack.
 
2011-01-22 08:26:14 PM  

xynix: Considering only 45% of AOL revenue comes from subscriptions I don't think this is an accurate story. Not that Consumerist cares about accuracy.

45% = Subs
53% = Advertising
2% = "other"


The dirty secret is that the majority of the advertising revenue comes from subscribers as well. Subscriber traffic accounts for roughly 60-80% of their ad impressions and page views, depending on how you massage the numbers.

/ex-AOLer
 
2011-01-22 08:26:14 PM  

RoyBatty: what is the actual difference between say, AOL 1995 and Facebook 2010?


One of them is a community of morons.
The other is AOL.
 
2011-01-22 08:28:23 PM  

dervish16108: AOL should buy Radio Shack.


They could team up with Monster....hold on, someone's at the door.

Just got served with a lawsuit for using the word Monster.
 
2011-01-22 08:29:17 PM  

oldebayer: Relatively Obscure: This looks familiar

They'd be a lot more popular among geeks today if the optical media they give away were RW.

I must have had a hundred of those floppies at one time.


I used to keep asking for free trial discs so that I wouldn't have to buy floppies... (cheap bastard)
 
2011-01-22 08:35:10 PM  
AOL has revenue?
 
2011-01-22 08:38:41 PM  

My pr0n name is Tom Seaview: I fix home PCs... and I advertise in the local Yellow Pages, which means my target demographic looks like Andy Rooney. (Hey, their checks clear...)

I've had dozens of customers exactly like this: they have high-speed Internet, and they pay AOL for... um, nothing. I explain this to them, then I help them change to the "free" plan unless they don't want to (a few of them keep paying so they can use AOL dialup once a year or so, because they can't figure out how to steal borrow WiFi on vacation).

This reminds me of leased telephones: somewhere, an old lady is still paying monthly for a rotary dial extension in her kitchen.


Heh!
When my Gamma went to live at the Assisted living center in 1987, my dad took over her finances.
She had a Princess phone in her hallway since 1962, and she had been paying $7 a month for it.
If math doesn't fail me, that's about $21,175 bucks.
Sadly, we found no takers when we tried to auction it.
 
2011-01-22 08:39:07 PM  
aol email address 0 credibility
 
2011-01-22 08:44:08 PM  

Spirit Hammer: My pr0n name is Tom Seaview: I fix home PCs... and I advertise in the local Yellow Pages, which means my target demographic looks like Andy Rooney. (Hey, their checks clear...)

I've had dozens of customers exactly like this: they have high-speed Internet, and they pay AOL for... um, nothing. I explain this to them, then I help them change to the "free" plan unless they don't want to (a few of them keep paying so they can use AOL dialup once a year or so, because they can't figure out how to steal borrow WiFi on vacation).

This reminds me of leased telephones: somewhere, an old lady is still paying monthly for a rotary dial extension in her kitchen.

Heh!
When my Gamma went to live at the Assisted living center in 1987, my dad took over her finances.
She had a Princess phone in her hallway since 1962, and she had been paying $7 a month for it.
If math doesn't fail me, that's about $21,175 bucks.
Sadly, we found no takers when we tried to auction it.


That's closer to $2100.
 
2011-01-22 08:44:26 PM  

Spirit Hammer: My pr0n name is Tom Seaview: I fix home PCs... and I advertise in the local Yellow Pages, which means my target demographic looks like Andy Rooney. (Hey, their checks clear...)

I've had dozens of customers exactly like this: they have high-speed Internet, and they pay AOL for... um, nothing. I explain this to them, then I help them change to the "free" plan unless they don't want to (a few of them keep paying so they can use AOL dialup once a year or so, because they can't figure out how to steal borrow WiFi on vacation).

This reminds me of leased telephones: somewhere, an old lady is still paying monthly for a rotary dial extension in her kitchen.

Heh!
When my Gamma went to live at the Assisted living center in 1987, my dad took over her finances.
She had a Princess phone in her hallway since 1962, and she had been paying $7 a month for it.
If math doesn't fail me, that's about $21,175 bucks.
Sadly, we found no takers when we tried to auction it.


/Math didn't fail. Scotch enabled mathing did.
$2,100
//still...
 
2011-01-22 08:44:54 PM  

My pr0n name is Tom Seaview: RoyBatty: what is the actual difference between say, AOL 1995 and Facebook 2010?

One of them is a community of morons.
The other is AOL.


Sure ... if your friends and family are morons.
 
2011-01-22 08:45:08 PM  

Mugato: I worked customer service for AOL as a kid. They had the most ridiculous customer service practices I've even heard of.


Do tell.

/I need the laugh
 
2011-01-22 08:45:29 PM  

Spirit Hammer: Spirit Hammer: My pr0n name is Tom Seaview: I fix home PCs... and I advertise in the local Yellow Pages, which means my target demographic looks like Andy Rooney. (Hey, their checks clear...)

I've had dozens of customers exactly like this: they have high-speed Internet, and they pay AOL for... um, nothing. I explain this to them, then I help them change to the "free" plan unless they don't want to (a few of them keep paying so they can use AOL dialup once a year or so, because they can't figure out how to steal borrow WiFi on vacation).

This reminds me of leased telephones: somewhere, an old lady is still paying monthly for a rotary dial extension in her kitchen.

Heh!
When my Gamma went to live at the Assisted living center in 1987, my dad took over her finances.
She had a Princess phone in her hallway since 1962, and she had been paying $7 a month for it.
If math doesn't fail me, that's about $21,175 bucks.
Sadly, we found no takers when we tried to auction it.

/Math didn't fail. Scotch enabled mathing did.
$2,100
//still...


Wait, so did she own it? If not, how can you sell it at auction?
 
2011-01-22 08:47:31 PM  

Inchoate: Spirit Hammer: My pr0n name is Tom Seaview: I fix home PCs... and I advertise in the local Yellow Pages, which means my target demographic looks like Andy Rooney. (Hey, their checks clear...)

I've had dozens of customers exactly like this: they have high-speed Internet, and they pay AOL for... um, nothing. I explain this to them, then I help them change to the "free" plan unless they don't want to (a few of them keep paying so they can use AOL dialup once a year or so, because they can't figure out how to steal borrow WiFi on vacation).

This reminds me of leased telephones: somewhere, an old lady is still paying monthly for a rotary dial extension in her kitchen.

Heh!
When my Gamma went to live at the Assisted living center in 1987, my dad took over her finances.
She had a Princess phone in her hallway since 1962, and she had been paying $7 a month for it.
If math doesn't fail me, that's about $21,175 bucks.
Sadly, we found no takers when we tried to auction it.

That's closer to $2100.


Oh god.
Please don't make me the new Rotsky.
 
2011-01-22 08:47:41 PM  

nytmare: My pr0n name is Tom Seaview: RoyBatty: what is the actual difference between say, AOL 1995 and Facebook 2010?

One of them is a community of morons.
The other is AOL.

Sure ... if your friends and family are morons.


I was about to take issue with this but if you explain it that way.....
 
2011-01-22 08:48:19 PM  
I signed up for the free 30 day trial once when I went on vacation. They don't give you any way to opt out of the free trial, and I had to call AOHELL to cancel it (before the free 30 days was up). I went round and round with some jackass, and after 30 minutes of her saying BROADBAND PACKAGE every other sentence, I demanded to speak to her supervisor. That finally got her attention. What a flipping nightmare.
 
2011-01-22 08:49:22 PM  
Nerd Story Time.

A number of years ago I was at a miniatures convention in Ohio and one of the games I played in was a WWII miniatures battle. It was allies attacking the Siegried Line. I noticed early on that a lot of the terrain was mounted on circular discs, including all of the enemy bunkers. At the end of the game I asked the game master why he mounted so much of his terrain in a circular format, instead of the tradition square or rectangle. He picked up a bunker, turned it upside down, and showed me an AOL CD! He collected all those damned CDs from his friends and family and used them for his miniatures games.

Free bases from AOL. Brilliant.
 
2011-01-22 08:49:37 PM  
www.killmydaynow.com

AOL power user
 
2011-01-22 08:49:52 PM  
Reminds me of how I feel like I'm pulling teeth getting my parents to convert from Yahoo Mail to Gmail. WHY????
 
2011-01-22 08:51:06 PM  

tbyte: Spirit Hammer: Spirit Hammer: My pr0n name is Tom Seaview: I fix home PCs... and I advertise in the local Yellow Pages, which means my target demographic looks like Andy Rooney. (Hey, their checks clear...)

I've had dozens of customers exactly like this: they have high-speed Internet, and they pay AOL for... um, nothing. I explain this to them, then I help them change to the "free" plan unless they don't want to (a few of them keep paying so they can use AOL dialup once a year or so, because they can't figure out how to steal borrow WiFi on vacation).

This reminds me of leased telephones: somewhere, an old lady is still paying monthly for a rotary dial extension in her kitchen.

Heh!
When my Gamma went to live at the Assisted living center in 1987, my dad took over her finances.
She had a Princess phone in her hallway since 1962, and she had been paying $7 a month for it.
If math doesn't fail me, that's about $21,175 bucks.
Sadly, we found no takers when we tried to auction it.

/Math didn't fail. Scotch enabled mathing did.
$2,100
//still...

Wait, so did she own it? If not, how can you sell it at auction?


After calling AT&T, and going thorough several levels of tech weenies, trying to get someone to come pick it up (dad does love a fight) they said to keep it. No charge.
 
2011-01-22 08:51:22 PM  

tbyte: Wait, so did she own it? If not, how can you sell it at auction?


When my grandmother died they told us to keep it.
 
2011-01-22 08:52:22 PM  
Army Of Losers - I'd be embarrassed to have an AOL e-mail address.
 
2011-01-22 08:52:29 PM  

RoyBatty: The Internet used to cool for AOL, but now the Internet became such a loser that Facebook was able to successfully wall it out?


broadband internet access killed AOL. AOL is/was a dialup company. They didn't apparently didn't really see broadband coming or just plain couldn't do anything about it. Beside internet access AOL was really just another giant dialup BBS like compuserve.

I remember when people used to find their way on to a MUD and then think it was part of AOL and getting all ticked off at our "customer service". I then had to explain to them we weren't part of AOL and we did this in our spare time for fun, not profit.
 
2011-01-22 08:52:39 PM  
This is patently wrong. AOL is a public company, you can look this shiat up yourself.

The Consumerist shows monthly that they will push patently untrue stories for pageviews, then retract or remove.

/best buy
//iphone
///this
////all this month alone
 
2011-01-22 08:52:50 PM  

snake_beater: Mugato: I worked customer service for AOL as a kid. They had the most ridiculous customer service practices I've even heard of.

Do tell.

/I need the laugh



Well let's see. For one thing, we had a sort of flow chart we had to follow with each call. Unplug the modem for 30 seconds, then do this then do that and we had to follow it even if we knew that the flow chart was wrong and we knew how to fix the problem, we were told to follow the flow chart.

At the same time, "talk time", meaning how quickly you can get the person off the phone was a big factor in our performance review. And then of course, we had to sell them something at the end of the call.

Luckily I was drunk through most of my experience there.
 
2011-01-22 08:53:44 PM  
img402.imageshack.us
 
2011-01-22 08:56:27 PM  
AOL may suck, but Engadget kicks ridiculous amounts of ass, so it's a was.
 
2011-01-22 08:58:00 PM  
*wash
 
2011-01-22 08:58:50 PM  

RoyBatty: Is facebook just the new updated AOL that AOL missed out on becoming?


Yes. That is it exactly.
 
2011-01-22 09:02:00 PM  
Oh, does anyone else remember around 8 years ago when AOL was actually paying people, in Amazon.com gift cards, to open accounts? My dog got me a new set of speakers that year.
 
2011-01-22 09:05:01 PM  

Mugato: I worked customer service for AOL as a kid. They had the most ridiculous customer service practices I've even heard of.


I worked customer service for Verizon Wireless and at&t. Your argument is invalid.
 
2011-01-22 09:05:54 PM  

thistime: aol email address 0 credibility


Link (new window)
 
2011-01-22 09:06:55 PM  
My grandmother (age 76) recently discovered computers and the internet. The simplest of concepts such as reading a dialog box and clicking OK, understanding what a window and cursor are, distinguishing between a search bar and a browser's address bar, will never be grasped. I know I've grown up with computers and all, but I can't comprehend the difficulty that elderly people have with basic computing.

If my grandmother did not have any family living in the area, I wouldn't be surprised in the least if she spent thousands of dollars on "fixing" her computer. That is, paying people to turn the monitor on ("the screen isn't working") or clicking OK in a dialog box ("there's some kind of error, everything's frozen").
 
2011-01-22 09:10:05 PM  

leadmetal: RoyBatty: I remember when people used to find their way on to a MUD and then think it was part of AOL and getting all ticked off at our "customer service". I then had to explain to them we weren't part of AOL and we did this in our spare time for fun, not profit.


AlexMUD FTW!!
 
2011-01-22 09:10:22 PM  

leadmetal: hey didn't apparently didn't really see broadband coming or just plain couldn't do anything about it.


Actually, they did see it coming. Steve Case knew that the company had to transform from an access provider to a content provider. That was the impetus behind the Time Warner merger -- TWX had broadband (Roadrunner) and a metric assload of content. Unfortunately, everything went balls-up because a couple of billion-dollar egos on the TWX board of directors got their panties in a wad and prevented the strategy from being executed. So instead of having a combined Itunes-Netflix-Facebook service 5 years before any of those things were conceived, you had an epic pissing match which resulted in TWX internet properties competing directly against AOL properties and a complete lack of strategic direction.
 
2011-01-22 09:10:48 PM  

Spirit Hammer: Spirit Hammer: My pr0n name is Tom Seaview: I fix home PCs... and I advertise in the local Yellow Pages, which means my target demographic looks like Andy Rooney. (Hey, their checks clear...)

I've had dozens of customers exactly like this: they have high-speed Internet, and they pay AOL for... um, nothing. I explain this to them, then I help them change to the "free" plan unless they don't want to (a few of them keep paying so they can use AOL dialup once a year or so, because they can't figure out how to steal borrow WiFi on vacation).

This reminds me of leased telephones: somewhere, an old lady is still paying monthly for a rotary dial extension in her kitchen.

Heh!
When my Gamma went to live at the Assisted living center in 1987, my dad took over her finances.
She had a Princess phone in her hallway since 1962, and she had been paying $7 a month for it.
If math doesn't fail me, that's about $21,175 bucks.
Sadly, we found no takers when we tried to auction it.

/Math didn't fail. Scotch enabled mathing did.
$2,100
//still...


And how much have other people paid for their fancier phones over the years?
 
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