Online service custom jumps 45.5%, report says

And you thought online services were over? In fact, subscriptions to US online services jumped 45.4% to 21.1 million last year, according to an industry report. But it's the Web that AOL, CompuServe and MSN have to thank for their success.

Subscriptions to US online services reached 21.1 million in 1996, a 45.5% increase over 14.5m in 1995, according to Electronic Industry Report, an industry newsletter.

Much of the gain was due to the migration of proprietary online services to the World Wide Web, including Prodigy, Microsoft Network, Lexus-Nexus and Dow Jones and Co., according to Electronic Industry Report officials.

Consumer-oriented online services saw the biggest increase, up 51.3% to 17.1m subscribers. America Online nearly doubled its subscriber base, to 8m, largely because of its flat-rate pricing plan, officials say. CompuServe topped out the year with 5.3m subscribers, boosted in particular by the addition of subscribers in Japan and Europe.

Business and professional online service subscriptions grew 32.8% to 2.9m, and financial information services subscriptions jumped 8.3 % to 1.1m.

Electronic Industry Report can be reached on the World Wide Web at

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