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Tucked away in AOL’s quarterly earnings announcement this week is a fascinating tidbit, as reported by Dan Frommer:

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.

The term “dialup ‘access’ subscribers” refers to anyone paying for the clunky, bloated, “You’ve Got Mail!” AOL software from the 90s, whether they’re actually using a dialup connection or not. They could be connecting to it with a fast Time Warner Cable connection, while paying $10-15/month for AOL’s version of the internet, instead of just using a free web browser.

Isn’t this why people have children? To one day keep them from being one of the 3 million people paying good money for 20-year old technology long made obsolete by a flood of free content and apps?

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