back to article Skype to test advertising

If you’re one of the millions of people who have learned to love unreliable service and uncertain call quality, Skype has good news: its intention to introduce advertisements to inflate its value ahead of the IPO won't change a thing. Announcing its advertising plans, the "hugely popular free Internet communications service" [ …


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  1. Combat Wombat

    I won't see ads

    Ads will be blocked, because;

    1) Fuck you I pay for the service... I shouldn't be bombed with ads

    2) Ad's are a security risk, as they usually come from dodgy 3rd party ad servers

    I really hope skype doesn't jump the shark. I really enjoy being able to make secure, free calls to friends around the world.

    I find people bitching about skype call quality usually have a 3rd rate ISP on one end of the call.

    I have been using it for years, and I have never had an issue talking to friends. Calls have always been clear and pretty stable.

    I guess people are blaming skype in a lot of cases where it is more the ISP to blame.

    The node SNAFU was entirely their fault, but given that was the first major outage in a few years, that was a pretty good effort.

    So bollocks to advertising! Keep making a product I am happy to use, which does what I want it to, and doesn't contain ads.

    I can hear the linux fanboys on various forums crying about the lack of a skype client, and they have been for ages.

    It's linux desktop. No one cares about you.

    You are a tiny percentage of the market, and not worth the effort.

    Now go back to your basement, and play with your kernels.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      RE: I won't see ads

      You're a Skype user, you are a tiny percentage of the market which no one cares about.

      Things which provide voice chat abilities:

      - Messenger clients

      - Remote desktop applications/ Virtual Conference applications

      - Other VOIP options.

      Examples of the above: MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, TeamSpeak, Ventrilo, GotoMeeting.

      Skype has never been the only option.

      "Free" phonecalls and yet you pay for the service?

      And the Internet Connection?

      And the Electricity the computer, router, modem etc need to run?

      Cheap? Maybe - depending on aformentioned costs being included in the tally during your comparison.

      Free? Is not, never was, never will be.

      1. A J Stiles

        And .....

        We have Asterisk on our platform. We win.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. MrXavia

      bye bye skype

      Sorry to say I tried installing Skype while in china recently, it gave me a version one so full of ads provided by a local partner, I quickly found a UK installer... No ads for me....

      I for one will remove skype as soon as ads are added, it costs them nothing to let people use the free features, and they already charge for calling phones, so whats the problem? They NEED millions of users so they get super nodes, dont they realise they will alienate the people they need???

      As soon as someone releases a decent video chat/conference client that works on android, iPhone, Windows and Linux, (well mac aswell I guess) then skype will go the way of ICQ, anyone remember that apart from me?

  2. PushF12

    Skype has the temptation of monetization

    Skype has enough users to induce a stupidity that is particular to software investments: The idea that you can monetize something that people use mostly because it is zero cost.

    Watch for forced upgrades to the Skype clients that do advertising. This is the first milestone towards failure. When advertising revenues are inevitably too low to hit the IPO targets, they will do something obnoxious that will cause user defection.

    They should also remember that the primary technical merit of the Skype Client was NAT traversal. Way-back, home users coudn't get competing products like NetMeeting or anything that was based on SIP to connect reliably. Today they have several competitors.

  3. Steen Hive

    Oh dear

    If they ever force an upgrade from version 3.8, I'll get it's coat, for it's going out the door..

  4. Jolyon Smith

    What's 6 months between enemies ?

    If you are going to be condescending and mocking and provide links in your articles, it would do you well to READ (and properly comprehend) those articles yourselves first.

    "Skype generated $406 million in revenue in the first half of 2010"

    See that? "FIRST HALF" ... so not $406m per year but $812m. That may not be much in terms of $/user/year but it's still not to be sniffed at.

    But since you're scoffing, perhaps you'd like to share the Revenue per user per year that The Register enjoys ? It must be significantly more than Skype achieve for you to be so comfortably mocking. One would hope.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Angry customer

    I *used* to pay for Skype! It was the only thing that worked consistantly when traveling to third world countries to call home. But then they took away features that I paid for, one by one, then reverted me to a per-minute basis from the auto-renew subscription I used to have. Then they start showing an increasing number of ads, and lately the ads have been causing it to crash, if it wasn't already down due to network problems!

    News flash: people *will* pay for useful stuff, no amount of revenue is too little if you own the company outright, and the stock market, neh modern capitalism is a transparent, short-sighted master that destroys all it touches!

    1. Andrew Woodvine


      What features have they taken away? Just curious.

  6. Jolyon Smith

    Skype isn't just VoIP

    It's also an IM client and I bet that is how the majority of it's user base regard it, primarily.

    Certainly I routinely use Skype for IM, and never use it for voice chat. Well, not "never", but in 5 years of Skyping I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've used it to make a voice call. The same goes for the majority (but not all) of my Skype contacts.

    So, again, instead of comparing to a phone company, perhaps you should look instead at other IM+VoIP combi platforms in order to make an assessment of revenue.

    How much money does Microsoft make from their Windows Live Messenger users ? And ohhhhh looooook.... WLM has had advertising for aaaages. Funny, I don't remember a Register story washing and gnailing their teeth on behalf the poor, poor users of Live Messenger which, for the record, is far less reliable in my experience, than Skype.

    WLM routinely goes through fits of kicking me off the network for 5-10-30 seconds at a time, and not even when I'm stressing their network with a voice/video call. Just sending an IM is enough to break WLM sometimes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      It's all about the IM.

      I believe it's an *encrypted* IM client, which is nice for those of us who enjoy tinfoil millinery items.

      I started using pidgin's Skype plug-in after Skype got a bit pushy with banners for their services, Skype still needs to be running, but you can minimise it forget it's even there.

  7. lotus49

    Linux and Skype

    @Combat Wombat

    What are you on about? There has been a Linux Skype client for years.

    Enjoy sucking on those adverts (that I won't be seeing on my open source IM/VOIP client).

  8. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Thumb Down


    One of the reasons I use Skype was because MSN kept those stupid ads and popup home screen. As soon as that happens I'll just move to another client.

  9. spegru
    Thumb Up

    Linux, Ads & Skype

    Linux: The Skype client is really very good. Been using it for years

    Ads: Well why not? Lots of free apps have them

    Skype revenue? It may be amusing to commentators to laugh at Skype ARPU, but consider how much lower are their operating costs!

    And yes, even as a linux user I pay them real money!

  10. Paul Slater

    @Combat Wombat

    I happily run Skype for Linux on my Ubuntu machine. Note, this is a native Skype for Linux client, not the Windows one running under Wine or something

    Still in beta, but hey.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Number if Registered users != Number of ACTIVE users

    Reg'o, gents please get a grip as the flux capacitor has failed in your HQ today. All vendors inflate their numbers, just like MSFT did with number of SharePoint users.

    There are users, people who registered and never used it (or a couple of times) and active users.

    Reality distortion fields dictate you should have the journalistic acumen to ask which number, then derive your financial statements.

    EPIC FAIL -- back to Journo 101/ Maths 101 for you lot!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I find the "tips" annoying enough...

    ...I'm sure the actual ads will burn my eyes. I'm sure it won't be too long before there's hacky client patches out to remove the ads.

  13. Sarah Davis

    Goodbye Skype

    I'll use it until they start putting adds in - it's been getting more and more bloated anyway (currently uses 120Mb+ just sitting in the background doing nothing.

    I hate adds, I will happily boycott any product that advertises in a pop-up in a web page or those stupid add on Y'Tube, or even snail-spam through my front door. Most adds in any medium are more likely to put me off a product. Advertising is such a false economy, I'm always suprised at how stupid companies are, wasting time and money on advertising the wrong way and loosing customers. If I want something I'll go research whats available and make my choice based on the actual specs and price.

    I'll be quite happy to delete Skype from my PC, I just need a viable excuse - sticking adverts in it will be just the excuse I need :-)

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Happy Skyper

    I have both Skype and Sipgate (using a "proper" telephone Grandstream100 - plugs into my ethernet router). They are used substantially for international calls to "real" phones/mobiles, call costs are not very different between the two (and a tiny fraction of what BT would be charging for comparable calls). We tend to use Skype more because for skype-to-skype we can get video and as its running on the PC it's easier to use - even trivial user interface things like select numbers from a list (with name and photo) compares well with a push button phone (even if I set up speed dial for common numbers).

    For non-IT literate Sipgate setup on PC could be tricky and on the Grandstream they might need a tecchy to set it up whereas Skype was pretty much "download and run". The big advantage of Sipgate/Grandstream is for inbound calls - PC doesn't need to be on and if I don't pick up then the answerphone (on the sipgate servers) cuts in and emails me a voice recording - again free but I'd happily pay for that convenience.

    Yes we've had very occasional outages on both but more have been down to broadband issues. Yes we've had some degraded quality calls (on both) but not unusable and redial usually fixes it (and in any case I've had degraded landline/mobile calls too).

    Our household spends well over £100 p.a. on Skype, it works well, also provides us free video calls in some circumstances Wife and granny (not remotely IT literate) can use it unaided and even if Skype started charging a small amount for skype-to-skype calls we'd probably stick with it from inertia, familiarity and the convenience of the same interface for skype to POTS calls.

    It's important to reconise that there's us, the elite, the masters of technology, knowing every wrinkle to get "cheap or free": the Reg readers, compared with the rest of the world for whom simplicity is the key.

    Many skype users don't pay anything and I don't see why they shouldn't have a differentiated level of service compared with paying customers.

    And heading for US$1 Bn p.a. isn't too shabby.

    1. David Beck

      SIPgate is download and run too

      I too use SIPgate but I have downloaded the pre-configured xten client from the SIPgate site so all I did was "download and run" even easier than Skype as you have to enter your credentials into Skype and the xten client comes completely pre-configured with both your credentials and the SIPgate server config.

      SIPgate also works well with my Nokia E Series built-in VoIP client, works with "Contacts" so no extra apps to mess with.

  15. maniax


    Seriously, why does everyone think skype is secure? There's no information on the crypto, the key exchange, there's no source to verify (you get a big binary blob and that's it) and they bombard every researcher that tries to do something with legal crap.

    It's not paranoia, but common sense - you can't know if skype is even a little bit secure. If the rest of the voip wasn't such crap with crypto, we might have something that was, but even sip/tls/srtp isn't very good...

  16. KeithSloan
    Thumb Down

    Skype alternative.

    Well there is always ooVoo as an alternative

  17. L1feless

    Google talk

    I have been using Google talk and I am quite happy with it. I enjoy the ability to have a Client and web version which share the exact same data. As many people have posted here for the odd phone call I would make using it I'd gladly pay for a reliable service. I have seen Skype as a dead service for years. They simply cannot seem to keep their nodes fully functional for long periods of time without hick-ups. correct me if I am wrong but there has been some fairly public postings about Skype's encryption being hack/cracked so I would hardly deem it a secure service.

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