AOL Says Subscribers, Usage Rise

AOL Time Warner Inc. said its America Online Internet service picked up 1 million subscribers during the past six weeks, bringing its customer base to 29 million and giving investors some good news ahead of the company’s first-quarter earnings release.

AOL said its members are averaging about 70 minutes on the service daily, up from 64 minutes a year ago. The company attributed the increased time to new features, 24-hour customer support and new marketing programs with such retailers as Sears, Target and Office Depot.

The release of the numbers sent AOL Time Warner’s share price up nearly 3% to 43.31 during a mostly lackluster day for media stocks.