Skype said today that users who do not have Skype Credit or subscriptions will now see advertisements in their call windows when they are making one-on-one audio calls using Skype for Windows.
Marketers can purchase these conversation ads in 55 markets where Skype is available. There's no mention of the display ads showing up on Macs or on mobile devices.
The company is portraying the change as a "an opportunity for marketers to reach our hundreds of millions of connected users in a place where they can have meaningful conversations about brands in a highly engaging environment."
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The announcement also says Skype thinks that the ads, which will be silent and non-expanding, "could spark additional topics of conversation." And in tiny print, the company describes how it may use demographic information such as location, gender, and age to target the ads. Users will be able to opt out of the company using their information for ads in the privacy settings.
Some of Skype's demographics were also released. In addition to a reach of more than 41 million unique users, the numbers show that users are 46.3 percent male and 53.7 percent female.
- 16.5% are 18-24
- 37.6% are 18-34
- 65.8% are 18-49
- 21.1% are 25-34
- 58.5% are 25-54
- 52.8% are married
- 45.8% have children
- 33.3% have graduated college or higher
- 61% have a household income of $50K+
- 39.1% have a household income of $75K+
- 22.7% have a household income of $100+
- 16.4% have a household income of $75,000-99,999
- 78.3% have shopped online in the past 30 days
- 71.8% have purchased online in the past 30 days
- 16.6% sought or posted product reviews in the last 30 days