In order for a company to become profitable, it’s enough to take 10 kopecks per user from a video call per minute.
As it turns out, Skype
is the third most popular instant messaging service in Russia, for the most part a loss-making company. Unfortunately, the service, which is gradually gaining popularity, gives a unique opportunity today to make calls and video calls, has only once received a net profit in the last 4 years
. The company had a chance to finish 2009, if not with profit, then at least about zero, but payments for litigation with Joltid (owned by Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis) in the amount of $ 344 million annulled the team's annual efforts.
Enumerating the risks that business owners may face at Skype, two of them are the first: the first one, which will not be able to maintain the established revenue growth rates (on average 57% annually) and the second, could not keep the profitability at the current level (that is, aggravate and without profitability). They can be understood. Skype revenue is based on paying for calls to mobile and landline phones, respectively, the company is faced with the task of further attracting users, as well as monetizing the existing customer base. Currently, Skype has only 560 million users, 124 connected, of which only 8.1 million (1.4% (!)) Take the opportunity to make calls and, of course, pay for them. The remaining 98.6% (just a terrible figure) of customers, including the author of these lines, use the service absolutely free. I note that Skype’s revenue per paid user is $ 96 in June 2010, compared to $ 94 last June.
Obviously, in the first place, Skype will want to monetize the connected subscribers, but not the fact that this attempt will be successful. As you know, the first fairly powerful breakthrough in the growth of the user base began after the company's cooperation with the social network MySpace (65 million unique visitors per month). The resources have agreed that members of the social community will be able to indicate their Skype account in the profile and will be able to call each other, which is called “one-click”. However, these users are quite passive in terms of voice communication, complain in Skype, and are going to break the contract with the social network already this November.
Here, probably, it's time to indulge in fantasies about how much Skype would have earned if it had finally let Internet advertising into its services. It is necessary to shake off the dust from the forecasts of Investkafe for 2011
, according to which the share of online advertising in the global advertising budget will be 14.2% or $ 67.34 billion, and guess how much this money can be mastered by Skype. But, to be honest, the service should rather be paid video calls. Moreover, the margin should be minimal, the service will win on the volume of traffic.
Judge for yourself. In 2009, users collectively communicated via Skype-to-Skype video calls for 113 billion minutes (almost 2 billion hours)
. If you take a penny per minute of a video call, it will bring the company about $ 40 million. And if Skype took 10 cents per minute (I think every Internet user can afford such expenses: 10 minutes is a ruble), last year the company would have finished with profit.
To think about this for the company is important now. Because next year the boom of IT investments in Southeast Asia may begin: India, China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Bangladesh. The reason is the appearance of the cheapest tablet in the world
, which was recently presented by the Indians. The gadget costing only $ 35 allows you to work with text documents, view photos and video files and, importantly, use the Internet. According to Investkafe, only in 6 of the above countries the number of potential Internet users at affordable rates exceeds 1.5 billion people (almost three times the current number of Skype users). But these people can easily do without mobile phones, communicating with each other via Skype-to-Skype video.