On Tuesday, Skype announced it will launch advertising on Skype for Android later this month, with plans to distribute the ads to 55 global markets within the next several months. It also launched rich media ad formats for iOS in nine countries, and rich media for Android OS in ten countries. Rich media capabilities include video, animation, tap to play a game and some social media features.
"We had advertising but now offering a deeper, richer experience in iOS," says Lovina McMurchy, general manager, Skype Advertising. "We've taken a very careful approach as we've expanded the places we have advertising."
In the US, Ford has produced a rich media campaign to promote the Fiesta to Skype users on iPhones. In Germany, Telefonica will use rich media to promote its LTE network with campaigns on Skype for iPhone.
Brands that want to advertise on Skype can do so via Microsoft Advertising, according to McMurchy. Ads are charged on a cost per mille (CPM) basis, but pricing was not disclosed. Advertisers can target mobile ads by device, carrier, geography and mobile operating system; but they cannot take advantage of the anonymous user profiles available to Microsoft advertisers online. While Skype advertising delivered via PC can take advantage of profile information provided by users, that is not available on mobile at this time.
"We may look into that in the future," McMurchy says.
Mobile is increasingly important for Skype, with a third of Skype’s 300 million monthly users worldwide Skyping via mobile devices; the growth rate of new users coming on tablets or phones has been doubling year over year, according to the company.
When ClickZ spoke to McMurchy at the Cannes Lions, she said Microsoft wanted to make sure its standard advertising offering was stable before working on native ads.
Following its Skype acquisition, Microsoft rebuilt the ad platform from the ground up, with a plan to roll it out in phases.
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Susan Kuchinskas has covered interactive advertising since its invention. The former staff writer for Adweek, Business 2.0, and M-Business covers technology, business and culture from Berkeley, CA.
March 19, 2014