Skype revenue: $50 million last quarter

From NY Times article on Skype’s new unlimited calling plan:

Over all, the Internet calling business is booming. Mr. Halpern said that by the end of the third quarter, there were around 8 million subscribers to Internet calling plans in the United States, up from 6.5 million in the previous quarter. That figure did not include users of Skype.

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In the third quarter . . . Skype generated $50 million in revenue, a mere 3 percent of eBay

Skype Out Unlimited for $30 per year ($15 if you sign up soon)

I love subscription business models and I think Skype has a chance to sign up millions of paying subscribers with their new unlimited calling subscription plan. You can call any number in the US or Canada. So do you go Vonage at $24.95 per month for the residential unlimited plan or Skype for $14.95 per year? (Yes, you can buy a Skype-enabled phone that you can carry around the house like a regular phone and make calls via your computer/internet connection.)

Check it out.

(I wonder if spammy marketers will now create bots that will dial every number in the U.S. that is NOT on the do-not-call list and leave a marketing message. I’m guessing this would violate the Skype terms of service…. Or if not, like the FAX blasting marketers of the past, some legal restrictions will probably prohibit this sooner or later.)

A Billion Audio Players in 2009!

Sometimes you see market forecasts that blow your mind. I remember
attending Jupiter conferences starting in 1995 where forecasts were
made showing hundreds of millions of internet users worldwide in the
coming years, and it was mind-boggling then. Now, estimates say we’re
over a billion internet users worldwide.

Any time I see a billion of anything, I’m pretty impressed. So I was
suprised and impressed today to see analysts forecasting that nearly 1 billion mp3 players (including audio-enabled cell phones and audio playing portable gaming devices) will ship in 2009–just four years from now.

I always love seeing forecasts that reinforce business decisions that I have previously made.

In 2003, seeing the uptake in mp3 players (mainly iPods), I co-founded a niche digital audio company (LDSAudio.com) which is growing every month and is now moving into the mass audio book market with mp3books.com (great site redesign coming soon!).

It makes me wonder what other megatrends exist that might reach “a
billion” someday. Will there ever be a billion bloggers, for example,
or even a billion people reading blogs? Or a billion GPS-enabled
devices? Or a billion digital wallets?

I’ve seen the forecast for 3 billion cell phones by 2010, but are there
any other consumer electronics devices on the horizon that will see
rapid worldwide adoption and ever reach “a billion?”

Steve Jobs has denied for months that iPods would be video-enabled, but
yesterday’s video iPod announcement was really no surprise. And now it’s just a
matter of time before everyone else jumps into the portable video game,
following Apple’s lead, and there are a billion portable video devices
on earth. Maybe by 2012 or 2013.

I’m guessing a billion digital cameras (mostly on phones) is not too
far away. Maybe Tivo and other DVRs (or is it PVRs) are on track as
well. And I bet Skype, Google Talk and other free voip apps will collectively reach a billion users within a few more years.

What do you think? Please share your comments.