Telegraph, Silverman noted that adding ads will be difficult, given that "the way people use Skype is very personal." There are currently no ads on Skype and the company's main source of revenue is selling optional telephony features that allow its users to make calls to landlines and mobile phones.According to Skype's CEO Josh Silverman, Skype wants to be the "fabric of real-time communications on the Web." To get there, Skype is "seriously considering" to create a new revenue stream by running third-party ads on the service. In an interview with the
Silverman also noted that Skype ads "will be done in a tasteful way." Sadly, it is not clear what these ads will look like (assuming Skype will go ahead with this plan). Given that Skype is an audio and video service, these ads could include audio ads that play while you are waiting for your call to connect or small Youtube-like pop-up ads in your video calls. Currently, Skype only runs banner ads for its own products in its Windows client.
""It's challenging to get right as the way people use is Skype is very personal but we think our users expect us to do it so we can continue to support free. But it will be done in a tasteful way."
Skype currently has over 560 million registered users and more than 20 million of these are logged in at any given time. The company has trained all of these users to expect free and unimpeded calls to other Skype users, so adding ads will surely create a bit of a stir among Skype's users.
New Skype Features
Skype also announced a number of new subscription services and features during the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco last week. These new services include highly discounted calls to over 170 countries for a monthly fee starting at $1.09 a month, as well as a group video chat for up to five users that will launch as a free service. Skype plans to charge a subscription fee for this feature later this year.