This is a repost from http://www.strategyeye.com/articles/digitalmedia/id/24649416.
Interesting to watch this progress – the take-up of anti-monopoly solutions like Skype since the Global Financial Crisis has been incredible (until, of course, Skype becomes a monopoly itself and people move on to the next thing).
Voice-over-IP (VoIP) service Skype has cemented its position as the biggest carrier of international calls, finishing 2009 with a 12% share of all international call minutes – a huge 50% increase on 2008 figures. The results come from a report by TeleGeography, which says Skype handled more than 54bn minutes of calls last year, an increase of 64% on 2008.
Skype’s growth is accelerating despite a slowdown in the market overall. International call volume has grown at an annual rate of 15% over the past 25 years, but in the last two years it has slowed to just 8%, growing from 376bn minutes in 2009 to 406bn a year later.
“Demand for international voice has been remarkably robust, but it’s clearly not recession-proof,” says TeleGeography analyst Stephan Beckert. “However the volume of traffic routed via Skype is tremendous. Skype is now the largest provider of cross border communications in the world, by far.”
Skype has experienced record growth in the past year, hitting more than 520m users in October. It is expected to have reached an even bigger user total when owner eBay reports its Q4 earnings later this week. The service also recently broke its record for the most concurrent users logged on when almost 22.3m people signed into Skype at the same time.
“Skype remains the sole VoIP juggernaut, and it has clearly hit a tipping point,” says Beckert. “I know because my grandmother has started using it.”
eBay must be kicking themselves after selling Skype last year for $1.9 billion after buying it September 2005 for $2.6 billion. That’s a $700 million write-down, and it may be that they pulled stumps at exactly the wrong time.
And as an aisde, my Grandma user Facebook AND Skype… Go Grammy!