AOL started out as “a short-lived venture called Control Video Corporation (or CVC), founded by William von Meister. Its sole product was an online service called Gameline for the Atari 2600 video game console…subscribers bought a modem from the company for $49.95 and paid a one-time $15 setup fee.” Video after the jump.
Originally, AOL charged its users an hourly fee, but in 1996 this changed and a flat rate of $19.99 a month was charged. Within three years, AOL’s userbase grew to 10 million people. During this time, AOL connections would be flooded with users trying to get on, and many canceled their accounts due to constant busy signals