Skype names by region

Some days ago eBay showed THIS to the Press:
A very long time that this didn’t happen, but finally “SOME” information about the Skype user base by “zones”. It is worth what it is worth, of course not much, because they are again CHEATING. Indeed they forget AS ALWAYS to tell to the press that the numbers ARE NOT = ACTIVE USERS! See my previous post concerning this matter here and I even found a post dated August 17, 2005 of Stuart Henshall, the original founder of Skype Journal: 50 Million --- Bull --- Skype complaining about the same cheating!

I am also quite surprised that they did put Latin-America and Africa (and Greenland) in the “Rest of the World”. I believe this is a completely STUPID split up. It would have been so easy to diferentiate at least Africa and Latin-America. But, if you read between the lines, this clearly shows that Latin-America and Africa are not important for Skype-eBay! The "rest" of the customers! I wouldn't like to be called like that!

Secondly: thanks for the fantastic abbreviations without legend on the slide: APAC? US/CAN? (how us can guess?). Of course I guess CAN=Canada and APAC … well Asia Pacific Australia C????? I Googled, but there are so many possibilities for APAC. Well, I’ll invent another one for the row of abbreviations: RoW = Rest of World.

OK, I stop with the complaining! Let us look what we can learn about the numbers.

Converting the absolute numbers in percent we get:
  1. Europe: 36%
  2. APAC: 36%
  3. RoW : 15%
  4. US/CAN: 13%
Let me remember the less attentive reader: these Skype numbers are representing the spread of the cumulative number of registered usernames (not even equal to user “accounts”), including dead, unused, multiple, spam, sex, spare and other user names!

Hudson Barton estimates the spread of “real users” (based on a time zone pattern analysis of the concurrent users online) like this:
  1. Americas: 41%
  2. Europe & Africa: 34%
  3. Asia & Pacific: 25%
What looks quite strange is the huge difference between the US/CAN number of 13% and the Americas of 41%. Even if we add the whole RoW number to the US/CAN we only get 27% compared to the 41% of Americas (Hudsons’ number). Please be aware that we are comparing apples with oranges! And i think Hudson's calculation is a quite good one!

On the other hand eBay-Skype pretends to get 20% from their Skype revenue from the USA, for less than 13% of usernames. This seems quite reasonable, because indeed revenue comes mainly from rich countries, and the USA is (still) one of the richest countries of the World.

Anyway, it is clear that Skype-eBay should focus all their attention to the growing user base of the APAC region: despite the economical crisis, I guess that there is more growth potential there! Asia is representing 60% of the World Population!


Anonymous said...

Hi Jean,
APAC = Asia PACific, a common term in corporate America.
your other guesses (US/CAN) are right.
Some other frequently used geographic abbreviation :
EMEA = Europe, Middle-East & Africa

Jean Mercier said...

Hey Anonymous,

Thanks for the explanation of APAC. EMEA I knew, US/CAN was straightforward. In fact i hate abbreviations, and although i certainly don't pretend never to sin against it, i always try to explain them when i write a blogpost.

Not all readers have the same background, and quite a lot are not native english speakers.

Anonymous said...

This was a presentation to financial analysts. They all know what APAC is. And they all know that the numbers refer to cummulative user names registered. This is common practice in the industry. Some companies then add an "active user" metric. Skype provide "concurrent user" data so all analysts and anybody that cares can look at how active the population is on Skype.

Jean Mercier said...

Mister Anonymous 2 (and you are probably different from mister 1 - pity you don't say your name!):

From what i read regularly in the press, quite some financial analysts and journalists ARE NOT aware that there is a HUGE difference between registered user names and active users as individuals!

In reports to the press and financial analysts, Skype almost never uses the "concurrent user data". 16 million people online at peak time is much less spectacular than 400 million "USERS" of course!

Concerning abbreviations, professional people should always provide an explanation of their abbreviations.

Hudson said...

Good post. As you say, there are lots of strange things in these reported numbers. Why they chose to not break out "rest of the world" is pathetic. It makes it impossible to compare directly with my usage statistics (a.k.a. "real users"). I don't have a problem with the statistic of nominal users. They just need to label it correctly.

As for comparison, the adjustment factors are:

1. Discarded or unused IDs. It appears, for example, that Europeans might have many more IDs per person than elsewhere. On average, I believe that 9 out of 10 IDs are inactive, or worse. That is a statistic that should be reported to "financial analysts".
2. Differences in the amount of usage (time online) in various countries. It appears, for example, that usage in the developed countries (eg. the USA) is much higher than in most of Asia. Again, these discrepancies in demographics are something that financial analysts need to understand.


Jean Mercier said...

Hello Hudson,

Thanks for "liking" the post. I agree completely with your side-comments concerning unused user names and "time online".

Anonymous said...

Yes, i agree with that "rest of the world" is offensive.

btw here in "the rest of the world" where i live, lots of people does huge efforts to gain access to paypal verified accounts (its impossible just saying, hey i live here, im business people, i move tens of thousands of dollars month, but my bank is not connected to paypal...etc), use extensive skype for small and medium business, etc.

Jean Mercier said...

Thanks for the comment. But, yes, it is clear that Paypal is also another eBay Company, therefore not really interested in the Rest of The World.