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March 07, 2011

SKYPE News - Skype Launches New Advertising Opportunity for Major Brands

By Anil Sharma, TMCnet Contributor

Skype, communications platform major whose purpose is to break down barriers to communication, has launched new advertising opportunity for the world’s premier brands.

 Officials with Skype (News - Alert) said that advertising in Skype software, which will appear in the “Home” tab of Skype for Windows starting this week, will provide brands a unique opportunity to be part of the Skype experience.

Company officials pointed out that Skype has partnered with leading companies: Meebo in the U.S., Ad2One in the U.K., and Ströer Interactive in Germany to sell advertising for Skype in each of their respective markets.

Skype’s reach of 145 million average monthly connected users for the fourth quarter of 2010 and 29 million concurrent users at peak times, and engaged user base makes it an attractive platform for brands to market their products.

Groupon, Nokia (News - Alert), Universal Pictures and Visa are among first brands to advertise on Skype.

“We’re really pleased by the initial response among advertisers. We believe advertising on Skype helps fill a creative gap by giving brands a platform that has broad reach and global engagement, while also supporting large-format, rich and interactive ads,” said Doug Bewsher, chief marketing office for Skype, in a statement.

 “The user experience on Skype is always job number one. So, we’ve spent a lot of time working through the best way to show advertising in the Skype environment. We believe our daily sponsorship ad from one brand per day is valuable for premier advertisers, but doesn’t detract from the experience for our users,” said Bewsher.

“We are just taking our first steps in this space and we expect to test and learn a lot as we move forward,” he said.

Alex Craddock, head of USA Marketing at Visa said that driving international usage of Visa cards is a key priority for Visa and users of Skype are more likely to travel and transact internationally than the general population.

Craddock said that to be the first to work with both Meebo and Skype in a highly engaged environment is a great opportunity for the company.

"Many people log into Skype as part of their daily routine, just like they check Groupon," said Rob Solomon, president and COO of Groupon.

"We look forward to leveraging Skype's new display advertising to connect Groupon to an even larger captive audience," said Solomon.

TMCnet in February reported that voice management and software applications company Skype has its eyes set on developing markets for its mobile business as it seeks to grow its presence in places where smartphone use is less common.

While Skype is pretty much available on every smartphone handset out there, the company still plans to offer its new service off of mobile carriers; providing another high-speed option for customers to use.

Anil Sharma is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee

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