Posted May 11, 2010 12:56 pm by with 3 comments

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Skype, one of the (if not the) most popular video conferencing applications out there, has long run on free conferencing and chat, with some paid services including connecting to telephone numbers. They were in the news last year as then-owner eBay promised an IPO to spin them off in H12010. Then they sold most of the company, but that deal was challenged by a lawsuit from Skype’s founders. Eventually, eBay settled the deal, leaving the founders with 14% of the company, the new buyers 56% of the company, and eBay 30%.

But apparently they’re struggling for income and their existing paid services just aren’t bringing in enough. Last year, eBay wrote Skype down last year (and an impairment charge two years ago)—suggesting the company never lived up to eBay’s expectations in the deal. Now that they’re (mostly) on their own again, Skype is contemplating advertising on its signature free services.

Says Mashable:

In an interview with The Telegraph, CEO Josh Silverman explains that the company . . . is challenged by its desire to keep Skype-to-Skype calls free and to maintain the quality of service. As a result, the Skype team is “seriously considering” including ads from third parties in order to continue to operate the service free of charge.

Silverman says the ads will be done in a “tasteful way.”

Just last week, Skype announced up-to-five-way video calling, which will be a free service at first. After a few months, they’ll charge for that service, apparently thinking the service would be mostly utilized by business Skypers. It’s set to premiere this week.

What do you think? What should Skype do to make more money?

  • I’m not sure if I could handle using a sponsored skype, but that might just be me. I appreciate they need to make money somehow but it reminds me of a phone server we used to have in Toronto where you had to listen to an ad before making the call, it sounded good but was poorly received.
    .-= Christopher Ross´s last undefined ..Response cached until Wed 12 @ 18:19 GMT (Refreshes in 23.85 Hours) =-.

  • As someone who pays for Skype now, I have to say that I hope it is ad free, for those of us who have subscribed.

    The service is excellent. If they need ads to stay afloat, then let there be ads.

  • James

    I also paid for skype and if they want to make money their service needs to work like a regular phone does. For example, I recently needed one incoming skype number to ring on more than one computer without giving everyone access to the main account’s password, similar to a home or business where you call one number and every phone in the home or business rings. After much searching and forum posts I’ve found that this simple feature is not possible with Skype using any of their services. I don’t know why they left this out, but I was forced to stop using skype because of it.