Skype to test advertising

From innovation to desperation?

If you’re one of the millions of people who have learned to love unreliable service and uncertain call quality, Skype has good news: its intention to introduce advertisements to inflate its value ahead of the IPO won't change a thing.

Announcing its advertising plans, the "hugely popular free Internet communications service" [sic] said advertisements will only be inflicted on users in the UK, US and Germany at this stage.

Skype's blog post faithfully promises users that "the ads won’t interrupt your Skype experience" (which can be more reliably left to its servers anyhow). Banner ads will instead be displayed in the home tab of future Windows clients.

Skype has long suffered from the stubbornly abysmal spend of its customers: eight years after the company was founded, its 560 million registered users still generate just US$406m – or around 72 US cents per user, per half* year.

Users will be able to opt out of ads using the privacy settings in their Skype client. ®

*Correction: as a reader correctly pointed out, Skype's US$406 million was a half-year number. Mea maxima culpa. Compared to even a minor (on a world scale) carrier such as Telstra, US$1.40 per customer per year is a minuscule ARPU. ®

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