The video-chat provider launched its premium branded services yesterday, including 'Conversation' ads (which appear within the calling window during audio calls) and 'Connection Hub' ads (which show on the screen that users see before and after placing calls) to give brands access to Skype users on the PC platform. In China, the offering extends to Windows 8 users on tablets and the PC, with mobile inventory expected to go live soon. Ads target only non-paying users—those without subscriptions or Skype Credit.
Globally, Skype has more than 300 million active monthly users. Within Asia, advertising on Skype is available in Australia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. Microsoft did not disclose ad revenue growth or the total number of active users in Asia.
According to market research firm GlobalWebIndex, the number of Skype users in Thailand grew 48 per cent last year. Most of these were 30- to 54-year-olds with at least a tertiary education with a medium to high household income. “The quality Skype audience makes it a great option for advertisers in Thailand looking for cut-through and brand impact in an increasingly crowded space,” said a Microsoft spokesperson in an email interview to Campaign Asia-Pacific. In the Philippines, user growth climbed 37.5 per cent year-on-year.
“With premium branded experiences on Skype, advertisers are able to achieve double digit lifts in some of the hardest-to-move metrics, like intent to recommend and intent to purchase,” the spokesperson said.
Skype launched its first ad unit in 2012. “Since then Skype has made significant progress in expanding its reach and improving its capabilities while maintaining great consumer experience across various clients and apps,” the spokesperson added.
Microsoft said it will work closely with advertising partners to educate them on its offerings.