The fastest million ever!

We needed only 35 days to go from 13 million concurrent users online to 14 million.

These are my screen shots at 17h55 GMT ...


James Atkins said...

Jean - do you happen to know how many people work at skype?

Jean Mercier said...

James, from what i know they have more than 500 employees, but i don't remember exactly.

I remember it was mentioned somewhere on a blog or interview recently, but i don't find back where.

Anonymous said...

holy smokes. what growth rate is that jeen?

Anonymous said...

Some questions to Jean:

1) I'm just wondering, how did Skype generate revenues?

web-to-web & video calls: Many tools can do these, MSN messenger, Yahoo messenger and Google talk, just to name a few. And they have many more functions than just talking.

phone-to-phone: can not do.

web-to-phone or phone-to-web: The latter is unpractical and cumbersome. The former might be the only "useful" feature being able to generate some profits. However, the rates are not low enough to save a noticeable amount of money for users.

2) So, It seems Skype is attractive to people who have a fast Internet connection but without a (cell)phone. How many such users are out there?

I know that news users are registering in droves. But how many of them are paying? Who are those typical users paying for Skype's services and which features do they use?

3) ad revenues?
I don't think a lot of people would like to hear ads in their phone conversations, even if the phone calls are FREE.

Looking forward to hearing from you.


Alan W.

Jean Mercier said...

OK Alan, here my short answers:
1. Skype generates revenue mainly from Web to phone calls. The rates are (in most countries) very competitive for international calls, therefore quite a lot of people buy Skype credit only for that. People who travel have here a very cheap alternative: go to an internet café and use Skype or SkypeOut to call abroad at the cost of "surfing per minute" + the SkypeOut cost if applicable.
2. Indeed some people have only a cell phone and an internet connection. In Europe (and other countries) calling through a cell phone is much more expensive than calling through a fixed line. If you haven't the latter one, Skype is a decent replacement. At least two of my contacts are phoning like this.
3. There are indeed some other revenues, like Skype certified products, and Skype add-ons.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for answering my questions.

I'm afraid I don't get the second point you made. Did you say that your contacts call you, on your phone, FROM Europe, with Skype? And this is because the alternative, which is calling you on your phone with THEIR cell phones, is more expensive?

Where can I find the details of Skpye's revenue report? I mean like what feature generates how much percent of profit, how people with different background(region, country, age, gender) use Skype differently. etc.

I'm really curious about how Skype made profit. To me, and most of my friends(I'm 27, with a graduate degree), AIM, MSN messenger or even the chat feature provided by Xbox are more attractive than Skype. I was not surprised when I learned that Ebay is planning to sell Skype, since I don't think the services Skype have are unique or special, which means it is hard for Skype to gain market shares. But I was surprised, after reading your articles, that SKYPE is growing fast.

Thanks for this wonderful blog.


Jean Mercier said...


concerning the "second point", yes you got it. That is exactly the point. If you don't have a fixed classical old fashioned PSTN line, and you have only a cell phone ...
in Belgium it costs me more or less 20 €ct/minute to call a fixed line with my cell phone, and only 2 €ct/minute through Skype!

Concerning the detailed revenue streams, Skype doesn't publish them. They only make a difference between US generated income and "outside US", and they also differentiate between Transaction revenues (selling of calling minutes for instance) and marketing revenues.

They don't publish revenues by country, age, gender, etc. and this is a pity indeed.

Some years ago i received data from an independent source, i blogged on it (not on my own blog). You can read it here: http://www.skype-news.com/Who-is-using-Skype.htm but of course this is outdated now.

The service of Skype is not unique for the chatting or other similar functions, but it is unique in the "package" it is offering in call quality and video call quality and calling to fixed and mobile lines.

I hope this answers partially your questions. Some questions can only be answered by Skype, and i am not Skype staff as you know.

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