ISP titan America Online announced that its subscriber base has grown to over 29 million, with over one million new customers signing up in the last month alone. It is not known, however, what proportion of these are free trials, nor the rate of conversion to paid status.

In addition, surfers accessing the web via AOL have increased the average length of their online forays from 64 minutes per day a year ago to seventy minutes.

AOL pointed to upgrades in technology and partnerships with US retailers such as Office Depot and Sears as the major factors driving the expansion in subscriber numbers.

“We couldn't be more pleased with the strong membership growth,” beamed Barry Schuler, AOL’s chairman/chief executive. “Through strategic marketing agreements with a wide range of partners, we’re helping to bring more and more people online in the US and around the world.”

AOL’s Q1 earnings results are due for release tomorrow.

News source: BBC Online Business News (UK)