Still Waiting To See The Magical Synergies Of The eBay-Skype Merger
from the still-waiting... dept
Now the International Herald Tribune has written up an article looking back at the Skype-eBay deal to see how it's gone. The article tries to be balanced, talking to some people who think it still doesn't make sense, and others who think it was a good deal -- but they offer up little to actually support that. The numbers they throw out are for "downloads," a number that pre-eBay Skype used to toss around for hype purposes, but which are effectively meaningless. The IHT falls into the trap, though, comparing the number of downloads to the total number of worldwide internet users -- never once questioning how many people may have downloaded the software multiple times, how many people downloaded the software and never used it, or how many people checked it out and then stopped using it. If downloads were all that mattered, Skype could just set up a program to keep downloading more copies. What matters is users -- and paying users -- and on that note it looks like Skype may be plateauing. Total voice calls actually dropped last quarter, and despite the number of downloads, if you log into Skype the number of other users listed being online hasn't really changed very much over the past year. In other words, we're still no closer to understanding what value eBay saw in Skype, and it's not clear that anyone at eBay really knows either.