Skype - Free Outbound Calls - Good Deal Gets Better

Skype's move to offer free SkypeOut calls for North America is pretty compelling, and is a great way to make their platform more sticky, and to rachet up the adoption of their PSTN connectivity service. Most of their SkypeOut takeup has been outside North America, so this is an effective way to get this market more engaged on this level. To me, even though no money is really changing hands, SkypeOut users are more valuable than Skype-to-Skype users. They may be giving up some short term revenues, but I'm sure the hope is once they revert to a paid model, SkypeOut users won't balk too much. It's all about changing behaviors and keeping your customers with you. There's just so much pressure and competition from the other IM platforms, esp Yahoo/AT&T and AIM Phoneline that this is just the cost of doing business.

This story got some good press coverage, and both Business Week and Light Reading were nice enough to cite me - here and here. It's nice to see as I'm in the thick of the Mesh conference now here in Toronto.

Note - the link to the LR article may not work. If so, just go to their site - it will be there in today's stories.

Sidebar to the LR article and the writer, Mark Sullivan. Mark reports that both Andy Abramson and I are at VON Europe in Stockholm. Andy might be, but I'm here in Toronto - I'd love to be there, but not today!