Shifts in website visits

In January i expressed my surprise on the 4 smaller countries in the top 5 of Skype.com visitors.

Then some weeks ago i caught again data from the Alexa website. And i did it again on May 1.

The table below shows the top 5 visiting countries of the Skype.com websites on those 3 different dates.
Here the objective remarks:
  1. In January 16.5% of the visits came from 4 smaller emerging countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Algeria and Slovakia), and 9% from "Big Brother" U.S.A.;
  2. On April 15, one of the smaller countries left the top 5 and was replaced by … China!
  3. On May 1st, all the smaller countries left the top 5, and were replaced by 3 big rich industrialised countries (Germany, Italy, United kingdom);
  4. The U.S.A. has reinforced its first position: it has more then doubled its share of the website visits, with 20% of all the visits;
  5. China also increased its share and rose from the third position to the second position;
  6. About 25% of the visits came from the top 5 countries in January and April 15, and rose quite spectacularly to 43% after April 21!.
Now the “why’s” and of course, here i am speculating, because i don’t have access to the commercial data of Skype related to purchases or downloads or new user accounts per country:
  1. In January the smaller emerging countries were in the top 5 because they invest heavily in fast internet connections, which means that people now have the possibility to use Skype, therefore … more website visits!
  2. The addition of China in the top 5 is a confirmation that the Chinese internet penetration is accelerating;
  3. Skype launched its new calling subscription plan on April 21. A lot of people from rich countries went to the website to check the prices;
  4. The interest of the USA in the new subscription plan is also very clear!
  5. And China continues to grow!
  6. Spending money on Skype is a rich countries business!
Does this mean that the new subscription plan is a success? I don’t know. I also took a look at the website, but didn’t subscribe. Huge amounts of new customers could also mean a lot of new downloads, and i don't notice anything there, see my previous post. I think it will be a shift in consumption pattern for some people, and this does not necessarily mean an increase in revenue for Skype.


Anonymous said...

Dear Jean,

Please don't forget that May 1st is a holiday in many countries around the world, including China. Probably, that's why you saw that the "big countries" have overtaken the "small countries" in your Skype.com statistics. How about comparing not May 1st, but maybe May 15th or some other weekday, i.e. this week? I am really interested in seeing that data again.


Jean Mercier said...

Hello Greg,
Thanks for your comment, you scared me ... i thought "he could be right", but i was almost certain that the pattern of visits would not be very different, because indeed, May 1 is a Holiday for a lot of big AND small countries.

I checked the data, and indeed, the top 5 was still the same (with some shifts in the rank).

But, i learned a lesson from you: never publish data taken on a Holiday (unless it is by purpose). Thanks for the lesson!

Anonymous said...

Alexa changed their ranking methods on April 15th so it could also explain the wild change from April 15th to May 1st. Could be.



Jean Mercier said...


Thanks for your post concerning the new Alexa ranking system.

I wasn't aware of it!

Anonymous said...

Dear Jean,
After posting my comments, I thought about it and come to the conclusion, that the holidays should not affect too much the website statistics, since, what I believe from my own observations here in China, Skype is mainly used for business rather than for non-business (friends, family, etc.). If Skype would be, let's say a travel agency website, then the story would be a bit different.

Thanks for the follow-up on my comment. Great work with your blog!


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Jean Mercier said...

Thanks for the compliment :-)