Skype started running ads last year, even before it was acquired by Microsoft, but from the sound of it, they're really just getting started. At the Monaco Media Forum today, Skype President Tony Bates announced the launch of Skype Ads for Windows 8.
On the Microsoft Advertising blog, Sandhya Venkatachalam shares some of what he had to say about the launch:
Advertising on Skype for Windows 8 has been built into the experience from the ground up and is completely congruous to the native Skype experience. This means brands can take advantage of Skype’s new fast, fluid and easy to use design just as much as users. The result is an inviting and engaging environment for our audience and for brands to start interacting in new ways that are completely natural to the Skype experience.
The advertising experience in Skype for Windows 8 leverages the solid foundation we have built over the last 12 months. In May we launched Conversation Ads which give users the opportunity to discuss the products and services they love with each other live. This was a complement to our homepage sponsorships on both Desktop and Mobile that were well suited for advertisers who want to build awareness and who wanted a consistent multi-screen experience for their campaigns.
Skype has over 280 million monthly users, and is growing at a rate of 40% year-over-year. Video calling has grown to over 50% of all calls on Skype.