Wednesday, January 5, 2011

If I were Skype.... A tiered monetization plan

Skype has a problem.  It still has no clear way of making money except by charging for "minutes" of calling in and out of Skype which because of the advance of technology is a dying business..  Skype is trying right now to implement a fee structure for group video and for enterprise call management, but is meeting market resistance because the incremental costs for these services is so high in comparison with the basic services which are free.  The problem is a lack of coherency in its overall pricing schedule. 
If I were Skype, I would implement a tiered pricing schedule for its services that are now free.  It would still have a free introductory plan but would gradually introduce 3 additional grades of service that match what, as I perceive, are three levels of users; light users, active users and enterprise users.  At the highest level, priced still modestly at $50 per year, all of the features (not including calls in and out of the Skype "cloud" which are charged separately) are granted unlimited usage.
$/yrChatFile TransferS/SCallingVideoVideo Host
Free10/day1/day10 min/day1 min/day0min/day
$590/day10/day90 min/day10 min/day5min/day
$15600/day90/day600 min/day90 min/day45min/day
$50Unlimited use of every feature including Skype Manager.