Skype announced it’s rolling out ads this week for Groupon, Universal Pictures and Visa. The ads are a potential untapped revenue stream for the free video, voice, instant messaging, and file sharing connection service.
Skype users can also connect to landlines and mobile phones for a very low cost.
New advertising will appear in the home page in Skype, according to the company’s blog. Chief marketing officer Doug Bewsher says Skype has already run some test ads via online music service Rdio “in the last month or two.”
In Skype’s prospectus to the SEC, Skype cited advertising as one of its potential sources of revenue. Based on this statement, Fortune concluded that Skype could earn as much $200 million a year from advertising.
Skype By the Numbers
$1.9 billion – the money eBay received when it sold Skype in November 2009.
145 million – the number of average monthly connected users on Skype as of December 31, 2010.
194 Billion – Those number of minutes users users totaled in Skype-to-Skype voice and video connections. That’s 531 million minutes per day.
41.5 – the percentage of minutes dedicated to video calling during Skype-to-Skype connections.
28 Million – the number of Skype users logged on at any given time.
37 – the percentage of users who say they use Skype for business or business related purposes.
32 – the number of languages Skype 5.0 for Windows offers. Skype is used in almost every country around the world.