On average 115,000 Kiwis use Skype daily and spend a total of 1.1 million hours using the service each month. And MSN New Zealand has added the site to its local advertising network, boosting MSN’s audience reach to over 2.3 million New Zealand internet users.
The move follows Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype last year for $USD8.5 billion, the largest in its history.
And MSN general manager Liz Fraser says it gives brands a unique opportunity to be part of the Skype experience.
When you factor the "modest 11 percent audience crossover between MSN’s homepage and Skype", she says advertisers stand to reach an additional 100,000 users per day and it also rounds out MSN's network of social media offerings with a calling platform that ultimately weaves with other Microsoft products.
“It is a wide-reaching platform and a safe advertising space supporting large, rich, interactive ads,” she says, adding that there's a lot of social engagement available with Skype and a powerful opportunity to reach people who are highly engaged in a social setting.
A more recent addition to Skype advertising is conversation ads, which appear during audio calls next to the image of the contact being called. Advertising isn’t presented to Skype account holders with Skype credit, or paid subscribers.
Fraser says MSN platform developments and increasing audience data have allowed the company, which is soon to launch its new Mi9 brand in New Zealand, to function as a single advertising network, with advertiser campaigns featuring across multiple network properties, including Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, MSN.co.nz, and now Skype.
Later this year Skype is expected to release a preliminary version of its calling software for Windows 8 phones, adding to recently released versions for Google Android smartphones, a Sony portable game console, and Apple mobile devices (Skype is the fourth most-downloaded free app of all time for both the iPhone and iPad).