A recent perusal of Skype news
shows just how much news this phone company/software provider makes on a regular basis. This week there was just so much activity it is worth mentioning it all. Of course this article would become hopelessly long if every news item from the company was analyzed so expect a sampling instead.
I got to thinking about Skype news after writing this entry
which talks about the competition between phone and cable companies. In the article
which started me writing the entry in the first place, the author repeatedly trashes Skype saying the valuation of just fewer than 3 billion dollars was not justified.
Obviously Skype has not added billions to the eBay bottom line so far. But this did get me thinking just what Skype has done for eBay lately. I decided to do some analysis of the week's news to see what is happening in recent day. In my research, I found Skype add-ons that act as lie detectors
(positive news) , a senior management shake up
(probably not good), and an add-on device
from VoSKY allowing Skype and PSTN calls to be made with a normal phone via an interconnected ATA (great news). In addition this device allows Skype functionality to be extended to any phone connected to the PSTN or wireless networks. Also, partner Convenos has launched
a collaboration and conferencing add-on for Skype (good news).
Perhaps what is more amazing than any single news story is what a media darling Skype has become with an array of news and many new stories each day. I figured I would list some of the stories found on the company's news page
on TMCnet as a reference in case others are interested in seeing the state of Skype news at any point.
My informal research indicates the company is perfectly positioned with a viral user base and a community/ecosystem of development partners who are improving Skype by the minute. As time goes on, community building sites like MySpace and YouTube are getting picked up for insane multiples as well. However in the case of these companies there seems to be less pessimism over the valuations for some reason. From my perspective Skype, YouTube and MySpace have similar business models but in one case only -- Skype -- are consumers used to paying for the service they get for free. So like MySpace and YouTube Skype can sell advertisements but in addition it gets to charge users for its service. This is a true win/win. If you had to ask the company to do anything more it would be to start charging for some free services quickly.
So I wonder if the recent move to start charging for Skype Out calls to the US and Canada is a direct result of mounting pressure to rapidly monetize the growing user base. I would imagine this is the case and as Such Skype now has to perform quickly to keep in eBay's good graces. The company probably has many other surprises up its sleeve to generate revenue. I am looking forward to seeing how it leverages its user base of millions of simultaneous callers.
Here are the stories I promised: