Ranking Free Email Providers by Size

This page is maintained by Nick Christenson, npc@jetcafe.org. It was last updated on March 15, 2004.

The point of this page is to track the relative sizes of the Free Email Providers, where size is measured by some notion of the extent of their customer base. Very little information has been made publically available on this, and as far as I can tell, no attempt has ever been made to collate it. The purpose of this page is to make this attempt. It will disappear if anyone with real time and resources ever decides to track this information.

The only way to gain real information on the size of the customer base of any FEP is via their own announcements. Of course, we have no real idea what the methodology is that they are using, nor can we tell whether these numbers are in any way accurate. Nonetheless, this information can show some relative sizes without needing to be horribly accurate.

All this information is gathered via contributors who have sent in information for this page. Your contribution is necessary to make and keep the data on this page meaningful. If you ever hear a FEP quote its own size in any non-confidential context, please email it to me, npc@jetcafe.org along with a reference to the source of this information, whether it be a Usenet news posting by an FEP staff member, a newspaper clipping, a press release, etc.. Of course, representatives of the FEPs themselves are invited to send me their numbers when they can be released.

The goal of this page is to list every FEP doing business in the United States that can legitimately claim more than 500,000 subscribers and list their actual size as accurately as possible.

This is the information I have been able to find so far, along with a set of FEPs that may also qualify for the 500k club.

By the way, I will no longer be adding information from Internetnews.com or affiliated web sites, as I believe their ethical standards for journalism are beneath contempt.

FEP Subscribership Date Source
Hotmail 140,000,000 20040315 The Register
Mail.com 20,400,000 20001026 Yahoo!
Netcenter 20,000,000 19990831 CNet News
Yahoo! 18,000,000 19980819 CBS MarketWatch
USA.net 15,000,000 20001101 Outsourcing Journal
Juno 14,200,000 20010125 Yahoo!
MyPersonalEmail.com 7,074,382 20010111 MyPersonalEmail.com employee
Netscape 6,000,000 20000303 CNet News
My Own Email 2,000,000 19980910 Email from My Own Email employee
Chek.com 2,000,000 20000201 Chek.com web site
Another.com 1,800,000 20020219 The Register just before Another.com started charging for its service.
MoreMail.com 622,300 19990910 Email from MoreMail.com employee
TheMail.com 457,300 20000801 Email from a TheMail.com employee.
AltaVista 400,000 20020219 CNet News at the time AltaVista terminated service.
MailStart.com 130,000 19990617 Wired
Freeze.com 70,000 20001221 Email from Freeze.com employee
Bigfoot ? - No info on their web site.
Excite Email Does not disclose 19990910 CNet News
NBCi ? ? Does not split out members into email subscribers vs. subscribers to other services.

This page Copyright Nick Christenson, 1998 - 2004, All Rights Reserved.