I received a survey invite from Skype this afternoon. It began with the intriguing suggestion that Skype might offer free calls to businesses in your own country. Would this make me use my landline less? You betcha, I answered, assuming this was some kind of 0800 number deal where the businesses themselves would pay for promotion via Skype.
Of course, any sensible business will publicise their Skype name and that their customers can make Skype-to-Skype calls for free. But the new scheme being proposed is like their current SkypeOut service: you can use it to call ordinary landlines, except in this instance, you wouldn’t need to buy credit first. Sounds good?
How about if you got adverts before you could make the call? I cannot imagine a scenario where I would listen to 30 seconds of adverts just to be allowed to make a free national telephone call. I’m not even convinced I would put up with 5 seconds. What do you think – is this a service you’d go for if Skype decide to offer it?
If I had to listen to even a five second advert every time I made a call I’d happily use the free minutes on my mobile in preference to Skype. Whilst monetising the service might be attractive imagine the uproar if BT introduced adverts on their free evenings/weekend calls?
Skype have a tremendous following, but if they do something stupid they could lose users faster than they have previously gained them 🙁
This is yet another incredibly stupid idea from Skype, it makes me wonder who the heck is in charge there any more! With all of the different services and plans that are available now, who in the world is going to put up with listening to ANY adverts before every call? There are ways to monetize a huge user base such as Skype has, and heaven knows the bills have to be paid somehow, especially when you have already cost your current owners a write-down of several BILLION dollars, but this is not one of the ways.
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