Dentsu has struck another exclusivity deal, this time with Skype. The deal is intended to generate 1 billion of revenue (12.4 million USD) through exclusive display space on the Skype start up screen. Banner / video ads will cover roughly 1/3 of the screen as the program boots and will be cycled through daily . According to the Nikkei, this will be served to the roughly 1 million users in Japan who are using free services offered by Skype. This deal seems confined only to the PC/OS version of Skype – not mobile.
According to a recent research survey by Goo Research Portal, smartphones are the fastest growing device for Skype use, especially as smartphone sales continue to boom within Japan. Laptop and netbook usage has actually declined as a total share.
There is a possibility that this move by Skype is as a result of lower monetization of paid Skype services within Japan. The country has fewer needs to international calling, and group video calls are not necessarily a norm in day-to-day business in Japan.
Skype does however offer alternative payment options apart from credit cards (which have lower penetration when compared to other countries) or PayPal (not very successful in Japan) including credit-voucher sales at convenience stores like Lawson, Family Mart (similar to how people buy credit for services like Xbox Live), or electronic money services like Excite. There is little data as to how successful this has been in growing frequency or reach of payments.
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