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Skype & Google

Rich Tehrani (via DSLreports) hears rumors that Google will purchase Skype from eBay. Aside from that, Tehrani offers some interesting ways that Skype could improve its business. Skype is viewed as something of a liability for eBay among financial analysts and so, Tehrani asserts, getting their profit-generating house in order is a top concern if the VoIP player is to remain a going concern. 

I don’t have much to add to any analysis of a Google/Skype deal other than to note that it would be neat to Skype my contacts from within Gmail. Parochial self-interest aside, I’ve always felt that Skype was a bit victimized by its success. Navigating between its avowed mission of letting the world talk for free and the realities of being a revenue-generating business was always going to be challenging. And so it has been. Skype secured an enormous user base measured in the hundreds of millions largely on the promise of free telephony, but as TeleGeography told TWICE, can’t earn anything close to the revenue that players like Vonage, Comcast and others reap with a fraction of the user base. 

Now much of the Sturm und Drang around Skype’s financial performance hinges on what eBay paid for them, not by how they’re performing. Still, it’s clear that Skype is trying to push more subscription-based services in an attempt to monetize the communication they’re also, successfully, giving away for free.