How Does Skype Make Money?

Susan Kelly

Jul 15, 2022

It may be tough to comprehend, but speech has existed since long before the turn of the millennium. VOIP is a feature that allows internet-based audio and video communication. The method turns a speech signal into a digital signal using conventional phone technology. This signal flows through the internet as opposed to a telephone connection. In the 1970s, the first transmission utilizing a speech packet sowed the seeds for the development of this technology. The first VOIP program was published in 1991, and the remainder, as they claim, is knowledge.

Skype, one of the most well-known communication platforms, is among the firms that have profited from this technology. As a free platform, the firm caters to those who choose to abandon traditional landlines yet desire a convenient means of communication. How precisely how skype earns money?

Brief History of Skype

If you are still wondering how does skype make money, Skype was established in 2003 as a communications program. It was intended to facilitate internet-based communication between individuals. The service offers a platform for video and audio conversations on internet-connected PCs, tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles, as well as other portable devices. Additionally, the service supports video conferencing. Skype allows users to interact with others using audio, video, and instant message options. The service is accessible in over one hundred languages. The service had around 1.33 million users as of 2017.

Throughout its history, the company's ownership has varied. It was bought by eBay for $2.6 billion in 2005. Microsoft (MSFT) acquired the firm in 2011 for $8.5 billion, the most expensive acquisition in Microsoft's industry and $2.5 billion more than the prior aQuantive acquisition. Due to Skype's lack of profitability, shareholders and economists were concerned about the transaction at the time. The New York Times reported that the IT titan's stock fell 1.3% after closing the deal. In 2013, Skype surpassed $2 billion in yearly revenues, attracting an increasing number of users from around the globe, and putting to rest the majority of these worries.

Innovations in Skype

Skype's Translator software, a text-to-speech technology, was one of its most significant advancements. Established in 2015, it became a Microsoft subsidiary in 2018. Microsoft customers may use the services for a variety of Skype software on Windows, but they can also install it as a standalone program. The translator contains a range of languages and enables Skype video calls and instant messaging users to interpret speech in real-time.

Revenue from Skype

Audio, video, and participant observations amongst Skype users are free, which is one of the primary appeals for the majority of users. How would it generate revenue? Skype's principal revenue source is the selling of credits and subscription services on a monthly basis. Credits enable Skype customers to make conversations with others, including telephone lines, send texts anywhere around the globe, or acquire a Skype number to accept calls on their Skype accounts from anywhere in the globe.

To answer how does skype earn money, Skype delivers Skype To Go, a product that enables inexpensive transfers from smartphones and landlines. The service does not require a data plan or an internet connection. A Skype To Go customer can phone a purchased local number to reach international connections regardless of location. For example, a Skype user in England who wishes to communicate with others in New York should only add the New Yorker to their Skype To Go address book. Skype provides the Londoner with a local number that they may dial to connect with their American acquaintance.

How much revenue do these services generate for Skype? Unfortunately, Microsoft provides no definite response. As shown in a declaration by the Skype division's general manager, Skype's 2013 fiscal year sales were comparable to Microsoft's Sharepoint, which generated approximately $2 billion in profits. Skype is included under the office consumer section of the corporation, which also includes Outlook and OneDrive. The office consumer market is a component of the more considerable efficiency and business operations unit. The unit earned $41.1 million in revenue for the upcoming financial year, a 15 percent increase over the previous year.

Can These Numbers Be Maintained?

If the following revenue numbers are accurate, Skype's sales have increased by 58 percent (from $860 million) on an annualized basis since the purchase. In addition, Skype claimed in 2013 that daily conversation time on its network exceeded two billion minutes.

In 2015, the corporation created a platform for commercial solutions called Skype for Enterprise, which was eventually renamed Microsoft Teams. The interface, which is part of the Microsoft Office product, is a cloud-based collaboration tool. Similar to the professional communication program Slack, it lets users send messages, have video conferences, and store files. Microsoft's CEO revealed in April 2020 that perhaps the Teamwork system had 75 million subscribers worldwide, as per a Business Insider story.

The rivalry it confronts from other comparable platforms is one of the primary concerns that may hamper Skype's growth at Microsoft. WhatsApp is a downloaded application that enables users to conduct personal voice, multimedia, and group conversations as well as receive text messages from other WhatsApp users across the globe. In 2014, Facebook (FB) bought the application for $19 billion.

Zoom (ZM) is another competitor that competes with Skype for web chat and video conferencing. This solution is a well-liked solution for several firms. Zoom varies in price from free for an introductory subscription to $19.99 each month for a corporate account. The sales earnings for the upcoming financial year were $622 million.


If Microsoft's estimates are valid, Skype's sales have reached $2 billion since 2013, indicating that the $8.5 billion Microsoft gambled into acquiring Skype has paid off. We can only presume that Skype generates revenue through vouchers as well as other VOIP-related services until additional information is available. This may change, though, as Skype confronts competition from other industry-related brands.

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