Internet call firm Skype is seeking additional revenue streams from new advertising-paid services, its head said Tuesday, as pressure grows from new parent eBay to show results.
Skype Chief Executive Niklas Zennstrom said the company is walking a fine line — pushing its paid-for services while keeping on board 220 million users, many of whom are attracted to the free service.
While making Skype calls is free between computers, the company charges for calls to and from regular phones.
“We try not to overpromote paid services. We are developing new services which will be advertisement paid,” Zennstrom said at a media event in Estonia, where most of development work for the service has been done.
Zennstrom pointed to advertising revenue opportunities from already-opened SkypeFind, which has more than 200,000 yellow-page listings across the world, and mentioned videosharing as another such business Skype could enter.
“We still think that SkypeIn and SkypeOut will be bulk of our revenues in the near-term future,” Zennstrom said.
With SkypeIn, users pay for linking their Skype address to a regular phone number, so they can be called from phones. SkypeOut allows them to call to phones from their Skype account.
In September 2005, EBay agreed to pay up to $4.1 billion for Skype. The takeover of the rapidly growing European start-up with little financial track record was justified by eBay as holding out the promise of rapid growth from customers making overseas calls and by using Skype to connect buyers and sellers on eBay’s core auction business.
But pressure from the owner over slow development of Skype’s results has started to increase.
Skype’s net revenue rose to $90 million in the second quarter, double the year-earlier’s $44 million, eBay said.
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