A few days after CES 2011 and its announcements re Skype on mobile devices and Skype on TV, the daily maximum of Skype users concurrently online has quickly risen from 25 million to just shy of 29 million. Hudson Barton’s meticulous tracking demonstrates the long term growth of this statistic.
Last summer, when Skype filed for an IPO, they announced that, during the April to June, 2010 quarter, over 125 million unique users had made at least one call on Skype during the quarter. Today, with via a press release announcing a major expansion of the Skype Access WiFi service, Skype announced that over 145 million users had made at least one Skype call during the quarter ending December 31, 2010.
The number came with one caveat: “excluding users connected via joint venture partners”. One would have to assume this number does not include calls made via the carrier-specific services that use Skype, namely, Skype mobile on Verizon (with over 80 million subscribers to whom Verizon’s Skype mobile client was “pushed” to all supported phones) and the nine 3 services in Europe, Hong Kong and Australia.
1. What is driving this growth acceleration? Is it simply an outcome of the announcements at CES 2011? or is it virally driven by more awareness of Skype’s services? Is Group Video Calling contributing to this increase? Or, with over 10 million downloads in the first two weeks of its release, is it the launch of video calling on Skype for iPhone?
2. How many of these new subscribers are buying Skype’s revenue generating services? This was a major concern that arose out of the IPO registration document, where only 8% of Skype users were actually buying services such as SkypeOut, Online numbers and Voice mail?
Bottom line is that two different measurements confirm that Skype usage is on an accelerated growth path, at least during the first quarter of 2011. And, finally, it appears that Skype is measuring its growth by a more realistic statistic of “active” users rather than the total number of Skype accounts (now over 600 million) which appears to have resulted in about 80% of all Skype accounts created since 2003 having gone stale over time.
- Skype for Mac 5, Skype for iPhone 3.0.1 – Upgrade Wednesday (voiceontheweb.biz)