Skype Users Expect More Ads after Microsoft Acquisition
Communication on Skype is going to get more commercial. Microsoft is planning to increase marketing opportunities for advertisers within Skype. This will lead to advertisers having access to Skype customers as they video chat with friends and family.
The negotiations between Skype and Microsoft which led to the $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype started as a discussion about advertising collaboration opportunities.
“Microsoft has a strong history with Skype. We're familiar with them, based upon the Skype client work on Windows, and we've been talking for a while about other important partnership opportunities, including partnering in the advertising area,” said Steve Ballmer.
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On Tuesday during a press conference announcing the acquisition, Tony Bates, chief executive of Skype, and Steve Ballmer, chief executive of Microsoft, announced that video advertising was on the forefront of Skype’s new potential advertising opportunities.
“We think advertising is a very powerful monetization stream for us. If you think about the size of our user base, it's just a natural extension for that. We want to approach the market, really, around a rich media approach, though, so if you see the ad it's a very rich experience. You can click on the ad. That can pop out. You can see a piece of animated rich media with advertising. So, we really think that it fits the user base of where we've been moving, which is to really have this immersive experience,” said Tony Bates at the join Microsoft and Skype press conference.
Bates specified that a video opportunity, not just in advertising but also in a rich communication capacity is the ultimate goal for Skype. The company believes that video advertising is still an emerging market and that finding new ways to create an engaged user base is important. “We estimate 45 percent growth just in video-based ads over the compound annual growth rate in the next few years,” said Bates.
Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”