13 thoughts on “Skype’s Number Game”

  1. “I am sorry they have to do a better job of disclosing their user information.” – Why? Aren’t they a private company and can choose to release or not release whatever information they decide?

  2. Om

    The $3billion Skype valuation floated a few weeks ago set off a wave of furious number crunching. I think we are looking too hard at how much Skype is worth. It’s worth more to a deadended telco than a DIY-place like Google. Or how many downloads Skype has had. I don’t think even Skype has a good handle on their user base. For example, they just starting emailing their users to see how they like Skype. This week!

    We should be most interested in figuring how big is the entire VoIP/IM/P2P/etc business today and how much bigger will it grow. That would include Skype and AOL/MSN/Yahoo Voice and all the SIP providers as well as the other P2P Voipers like Stanaphone and Wavigo and the Vonages and Lingos and the international calling card companies and why not the old telcos. Put em all together and let’s find out what is the total market today? How much larger can it get? If the total market is large and the potential market is enormous then the question becomes whether Skype will be one of the survivors. If they are, then this debate in 2005 will be forgotten. If they aren’t, then Skype’ll be forgotten. I think they will be one of the survivors…somehow..someway.

    Back in 2002 (post-Bubble), who would have figured that a search company would be worth $80 billion?

  3. I believe Skype’s value currently is primarily in the business sector. Tracking the consumer market for this kind of thing is like measuring the wind, and ordinary folks could give a flip about spending a dime on Skype services. A business customer is a more loyal customer and spends on added value.

    How many business are they adding? Bigger question – when is Skype going to target a new product package to businesses?

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  5. To me, the # of users online you see in the bottom right of your Skype window is the only number to care about. As always, the debate is how many of those do you keep if you start charging.

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  7. Personally, even the number of “online” people is massively inflated. Consider that Skype auto-connects when you login your computer and sits on in the background. How many people that are logged in that are actually making and receiving calls is the real “active” users. So most everything about Skype’s numbers are inflated.

    The number I find more interesting is the number of minutes they have on the network, but even that number has been taken off, because it really gives competitors a sense of their growth.

  8. Well, I can agree with you on the “download data” perspective – I happen to be of one of their users who has two Skype ids (and Skype Outs) – I had to send them a separate support request to add more Skype-Out dollars for my primary account and have them do a manual transaction.

    If you are a Skype Out user and you select the link that directs your browser session to “ADD MORE SKYPE OUT TIME” (buying more via Euro-currency) you get a red flagged error message that says “You are limitted to one Skype Transaction at a time and will be given more opportunity to add Skype Out $$$$ before you run out”.

    That is nonsense.

    First of all, they are using safeguards to purchase Skype out and Skype in or Skype Voicemail.

    Using Skype is a convenience for me when I travel on business and don’t want to risk having expensive roaming charges to my TMobile number (like in Canada as I am a US TMobile customer) and want decent sound quality.

    My Vonage router is an option for calling, however, not all hotels have Ethernet RJ45 jacks in their rooms (these hotels are tending to go Wireless 802.11b|g and guest rooms don’t have any RJ45 jacks). So? My option is Skype and it works very nicely when my Compaq EVO N800V Pentium 4 2.0ghz notebook with 1GB RAM is connected to an internet session in 802.11G mode (54Mbps or108Mbps depending on whether or not the hotel’s router/access point can support my D-Link AG650’s Turbo mode). To save on Mobile phone roaming charges, Skype became a good viable alternative and my satisfaction with their sound quality and also other user tools is a good satisfaction. Calling between Canada and the US for .02 (less than 2 cents per minute) is significantly less than 40 cents per minutes roaming from TMobile using Rogers.

    I certainly hope that Skype realizes that it has corporate users like myself who benefit from its technology and will not treat us like “children” when we want to purchase additional Skype out.

    Your Fellow Technology Buddy,

    Mary W. in NYC

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