Skype Won't Stop With The Inflated User Numbers... But It Might Not Be Helping

from the skhype dept

After paying $4 billion or so for Skype, eBay has floundered a bit in search of a strategy for the unit. While Skype's revenues are growing pretty decently -- up 119% year-on-year in the first quarter -- they still don't make a huge impact in real terms ($77 million in the quarter) when compared to the huge price tag of the acquisition. Meanwhile, Skype execs continue to act as if everything is going to plan by ignoring meaningful metrics when discussing the company's fortunes, and choosing to keep hyping up the number of times Skype software has been downloaded, and how many user names have been registered, instead of focusing on how many active users or paying customers it has. It's at it again in an article about its slow growth in the US, which accounts for just 13% of its revenues, with an exec claiming to now have a user base of 196 million (via Broadband Reports). As the article notes -- for once -- Skype still refuses to disclose how many active users it has, using the meaningless metrics of downloads and registered user names. What's sort of amusing about all of this is that, in some sense, Skype's insistence on the inflated user figures actually makes it look worse than if it disclosed more accurate figures. After all, if the company keeps claiming that its user base is exploding (when going by the downloads number), but its revenues, and more importantly, profits aren't keeping pace, eBay investors aren't likely to look too favorably upon Skype, or the billions eBay paid for it.

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  1. identicon
    youtalkie, 2 Jul 2007 @ 4:37pm

    about skype

    I didn't do so many research on this topic. But I feel Skype is on the right track. The main purpose of the acquisition is to facilitate the ebay transaction between buyers and sellers. Ebay was not really intended to general much revenue from IP phone.
    The recent local listing within skype is also a very smart move to support ebay's core biz.

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