Download counter working again?

The results of the Skype RSS feed of total downloads of the Skype application according to the RSS feed of Skype:
  1. March 17: Total downloads = 1,168,075,188
  2. March 17: RSS feed stuck at the above-mentioned number until March 27
  3. March 27: Total downloads = about 500,000,000 during some hours
  4. March 27: Correction to about 630,000,000 downloads
  5. April 13: Sudden jump to a little bit less than 1,338,000,000 downloads
See the graph.
I think they messed it up at Skype. If the numbers are right, it means that between March 17 and April 13 they had an increase of about 170,000,000 downloads or a mean speed of 4374 downloads per minute!
I don’t believe this, because I personally NEVER saw such a high download speed (I don’t say it never happened for very short time spans however!) The total number of downloads is still wrong in my opinion.

Why worry? Well I don’t! The total number of downloads is as useless as the total number of registered usernames (you know, the 450 million usernames that Skype likes to claim they have). What would be useful, is to know how many Skype clients are “active” or used!

So, why do I follow that number anyway? From the number of downloads, you can derive the download SPEED. And THIS is interesting. Because increases in the download speed could indicate that something is happening!
As you can see I have noticed occasional downloads of 3500 per minute. But, the last years the speed has mainly been around 600 downloads per minute. Therefore every speed above 1000 catches my attention.

The last weeks have been quite interesting in this regard with speeds as high as 2400 downloads per minute. Indeed, there have been interesting announcements: Skype for SIP, and especially the Skype for iPhone!


Quarter 1, 2009 results

This was the very first time I listened live to the eBay conference call. It was even funny at some moments, see the end of my post.

But, first, let me be very clear: John Donahoe, in the Questions & Answers said very clearly that Skype has no synergies with eBay!

Now the results:
Usernames (not equal to USERS!) grew linearly as in the previous months. I have to admit I am somewhat surprised, because the users online grew better than linear!
The revenue growth quarter to quarter was stronger than the previous one as well in US$ as in €uro! This is good news of course.
On the other hands, the revenue per user name is still going down in US$ and went slightly up in €uro. As I said before, this is a useless metric. It would be better if we could have the revenue per active user! But Skype doesn’t disclose this. The revenue per user name will - in the long run - continue to go down, because of the many "dead user names".
Skype to Skype minutes showed a fairly good but slightly less fast growth, but of course, this is a “no direct revenue generation” metric. There are some indirect effects, like revenue coming from the Skype certified products (even bought by pure “Skype to Skype” users).
SkypeOut minutes showed also and again a good growth, but – alike the Skype to Skype minutes- slightly slower!

Was this a good quarter? Indeed it was! In those economical unstable times, growth is an exception!

What about the expected revenue for 2009 as a whole? Well, i lower my previous estimate of 750 million to only 650 million US$!

And then the funny things, of the Questions & Answers time for the analysts, with only one question allowed:
  • John Donahoe begun answering the first question of the first analyst by saying: “congratulations for your new house”! What the heck?????
  • And then some moments later it was the other eBay guy (I don’t remember his name, but i think it was the Financial Officer) saying : “let me take your second question of your one allowed question.
Funny, but at the other hand a pity that they respond to two questions, because it takes away time and therefore the opportunity for some analysts to ask questions. They could be tougher and ignore the second question! Several analysts dared to ask more than one question!


iPhone Skype app still in 6

After 3 weeks, Skype is still in position 6 in the TOP FREE APPS of the iTunes most popular applications today (in the Belgian App Store). But it is going "down" fast. No more comments on my side. I posted this for the "fun of the graph".


The valuation of Skype

Wandering over the internet i found several comments on the value of Skype for instance here and here.

Interesting to see (in one of the above mentioned links) that an analyst predicted a revenue of $786 million (for 2010? I guess this was a typo, and they meant 2009) while I predicted in a private chat with some Skype fanatics $750 million for 2009 some days ago.

Well, lets wait till next week to refine the predictions: eBay will divulge their results for the first quarter of 2009!

[EDITED] Added on the graph the weighted average of the Skype Journal Poll based on 68 votes.


Soon more numbers

This morning, before looking at my computer, i read the "Skype IPO" in my Flemish Financial Newspaper.

Only two comments:
  1. They soon WILL HAVE to provide more numbers.
  2. They still FALSELY claim that they have more than 400 million users.
NO, NO, NO, i will repeat what i commented several times in the past: they probably have about only 40 million real active unique living users. But yes, there are more than 400 million registered user NAMES, quite a difference!


2 million downloads of iPhone Skype app!

Skype announced it yesterday: 2 million downloads of iPhone Skype app!
This represents 12% of iPhone users or 7% of the combined iPhone and iPod Touch users. Impressive! I still believe that most of the Skype apps are downloaded for the iPhone, therefore, bold guess, 10% of iPhone users downloaded the Skype app.The download speed (right scale of the graph) went down from more than 400 per minute to 100 now, but this is quite normal!
This will certainly have an impact on the total number of Skype users, as some of these iPhone users are new to Skype, and will also install it on their computer, but I guess the effect with be quite marginal because:
  • iPhone users are usually “wealthy” and have also money to make expensive calls, therefore their “need” for free or cheap calls is lesser.
  • The Skype app can’t run in the background on the iPhone!
  • And, like all free applications, a lot will try it, but won’t really use it.
But … the launch of the iPhone app has made a lot of publicity for Skype, therefore the “viral” growth will get a boost again!


Voice on the Web

I was wandering in the Skype Journal pages, and suddenly i noticed that there are only posts from Phil Wolff. Where is Jim Courtney? Well, i didn’t notice when i should have, but he started his own blog, all about voice applications on the web, and with the straightforward title:Click on the logo to go to his blog!
Good luck Jim!


Skype, how many downloads?

1.2 billion downloads of the Skype client, or only half of that?

Data from the Skype RSS feeds:
  • March 17, 13h45 GMT: 1,168,075,188 downloads
  • March 27, 23h20 GMT: 628,899,379 downloads
  • April 07, 09h15 GMT: 647,446,472 downloads
On September 28, 2008 Josh Silverman claimed: “Celebrating 1 billion downloads”.

So, Skype, what should we believe?


i need a male opinion about something ...

[31/03/2009 10:29:34] Mary Criswell:
Hi , And how is yur work and evry thing around u ..... I was looking at in the directory, i saw your name, and you seem interesting! I need a male opinion about something ... Would you like to check out my pics and profile..?

This is a fictitious chat message based on real samples of phrases! What SPAM is for e-mail, SCAM is for Skype. Will it take the same proportions?

I hope not, but it begins to worry me. I got the last month 22 such messages, from all kind of countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, China, Morocco, Bulgaria, Turkey, some without information and quite often from Kumasi in Ghana and even one from Kumasi in the USA ! Most are woman names, but of course it could well be man sitting at the other side to try to rip you off. Only one tried to call me. Several asked to add them to my contact list.

OK, I could change my privacy setting and only accept chats and calls from known persons. But as I have a business this isn’t an option.

And to make it worse, since some months, when somebody asks you to be added to your contact list, you get an UNWANTED e-mail repeating this demand. It wasn’t like this in the past (no mails!). This is a change Skype introduced without much publicity and without asking. I understand the economic logic of it: it should boost the growth of users. But, it could as well chase users away, as they will perceive these mails from “Ghana Women and similar” as SPAM. You already get the SCAM demand on your Skype client and then you get it a second time in your mailbox. NO SKYPE, wrong way

You can disable this by going in your account page in the e-mail settings. In my opinion this should be unchecked by default. I don’t need twice the same message Skype !!!!

[EDITED:]After a remark of Vincent: it could be you get only once the message, either by mail, either through your client - i'll have to check.
[EDITED: 04/04/2009] I got a request twice, one on my client, and one a day later by mail!


600.000 iPhone Skype apps!

Robert Miller, Skype’s General Counsel wrote yesterday: “An interesting fact: at the time of writing, 24 hours after launch, more than 600,000 downloads of the software had taken place on the App Store”.
This is about 420 downloads of the Skype iPhone application per minute! I suppose quite a lot of these people didn’t know Skype before, and are also downloading the Skype client on their Macintosh or PC. By viral collateral growth (the publicity, etc.) there will also be a growth of “non-iPhone” users.

Apple has sold more than 17 million iPhones since it launched it’s “hyped” machine.
This means that in one day, 3.5% of the iPhone owners downloaded the application. This is impressive! Of course, Skype is free! And i would not be surprised that within a few days much more than 10% of the iPhone users will have downloaded the Skype application.

Well, well, as I said several times in the past months: exciting moments for Skype! Even the fact that Deutsche Telecom told it will block Skype (unless it was indeed an April’s Fool Joke) is in fact fantastic publicity for Skype. If it isn’t a joke, well then Deutsche Telecom is itself a very “fossil” non-joke: as all former State Monopolists they are accelerating their own death by such measures. People will be aware there is something threatening for Deutsche Telecom, and will try to find out how to circumvent the blocking!

[EDITED ON April 3] Not worth another post, but one million downloads in less than 2 days


2500 downloads per minute!

Yesterday and today I noticed huge downloads of the Skype client.

While it was around 600 downloads per minutes until some days ago, yesterday I noticed speeds up to 2500 downloads per minute! Now at 14h40 GMT it is already above 2000 downloads per minute and still rising. (During the GMT night the speeds goes traditionally down).

The last time that I noticed such huge speeds was in 2007! Could this be the iPhone Skype application effect? Is the number of downloads of the Skype application already included in the counting system? I guess the answer is yes on both questions!

I think we will see the growth of concurrent users online continuing to increase as fast or faster than before in the coming weeks!