When Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion in October 2011, many senior tech heavyweights questioned why it paid so much and also why it ‘really’ wanted the technology.
As it turns out, Microsoft bought Skype because it saw the online video phone service as a potential ad platform.
In February this year, Microsoft Advertising confirmed it would start selling ads on Skype (both PC and mobile versions) in international markets, including Ireland.
While display ads on the Skype homepage and the user’s profile page are the obvious option for Microsoft, they won’t attract the type of CPMs it needs to make serious money.
With this in mind, it needs to get more people to click on ads and one of the best ways to do so is the ‘click to call’ ad unit.
Click-to-call ads are currently not being offered on Skype, but when they are what kind of reaction will they get from users? Will they bother you? (Enter comments below).
It’s just a different kind of publishing
Remember back in ye olden times when Microsoft was a software company? Well, it no longer is. It’s fast becoming a multi-faceted publisher. If Microsoft plays its cards right, it could control many major ad platforms with the ability to attract hundreds of millions in advertising revenues. These platforms include Bing, Windows phones and Xbox Live.
It’s interesting to see this radical evolution of Microsoft as a company reacting to the shifting landscape of the digital planet. It wants to become a major force in international media. However, it may yet need to acquire a few more proven publishing platforms to do so. Perhaps something in the social/mobile space?*
* Pinterest is the obvious choice, but then everyone seems to want Pinterest these days.