Skype's Billion-Dollar Idea? Ringtones

from the they'll-be-charging-to-use-smilies-next dept

All this talk about just exactly what eBay is going to do with Skype and how it's going to justify the billions they spent on it seem to be missing the latest paid Skype service that's sure to just rake in the cash: ringtones and wallpapers for your Skype client. Yes, seriously. Skype's hoping people will pay a buck for a sound or picture -- which is slightly odd, since users can already change sounds to another file on their computer and use their own buddy icons. It's obvious Skype sees the big sales of ringtones and wallpapers on mobile phones, and thinks they can get something similar going. But on a mobile phone, this type of content is as much about showing it off to other people as it is about personalization. It's doubtful people see Skype as similar outlet, but it's even more doubtful they'll spend money on these things when it would appear they can already be done for free. The real question though, is if this is just a poorly thought out plan, or something that smacks of Skype's desperation to generate some revenues.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    El Gordo, Sep 16th, 2005 @ 1:43pm

    ringback tones

    maybe they mean you can set the ringtone (song) that your friend hears when they call you. I haven't seen this in the UK, but this service is available in the USA on verizon.

    or how about setting a song that is played on your friends computer when you call them?

    El Gordo

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Captain Jack, Sep 16th, 2005 @ 2:21pm

    I think the ringtones are a different paradigm.

    Instead of picking the tones that you will hear, you can probably choose what other people will hear.

    That said, it still doesn't sound very exciting to me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Pete Cashmore, Sep 16th, 2005 @ 4:46pm


    I'm not sure if this idea is really suited to Skype's current user base, but the idea of merging Paypal's micropayment system (the one that just got cheaper) with Skype means that we will no doubt have premium rate Skype calling soon. Hopefully this area will be dominated by consulting services run by top experts, rather than tarot and sex lines.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Jimmy, Sep 17th, 2005 @ 11:20am

    a buck?

    Why would anyone pay a buck for a likely closed-format "ringtone" when you can buy the real song for a buck on itunes or $0.79 on rhapsody?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    e_kraft100, Oct 8th, 2005 @ 8:06am


    I don't know what the big worry is. Did anyone ever sit down and think about what it would be like not to pay for a phone call. After all are we not already paying for a landline, a modem, or cable coming into our homes. My questions is why not take advantage of skypes, cr vanages services? How is taking advantage of a new technolgy a bad thing? I don't know about you, but I love not pyaing for something I can get for free. after all Isn't that the American way?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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