Back in April, we broke a story about Skype’s developing business model to drive calls to SMBs. Working with directory publishers as channel partners, it would extend its longstanding subscription-based model to now also include ad support. Ad units would essentially come in the form of calls generated from search results and connected via Skype (see full explanation in our previous coverage).
Tomorrow the company is set to announce its first major partner in this effort, European Directories. As we previously wrote, Skype has also worked with Yellow Pages Group New Zealand in a pilot program to deliver calls to the publisher’s local advertisers. At the time, we alluded to the European Directories partnership though it was then under NDA.
The NDA also prevented us from discussing the project’s main internal champion, Thomas Wicky (no longer with European Directories). At DMS last week, I had the chance to meet with Wicky, who is still bullish and excited about the potential for Skype to drive calls to European Directories and a presumably growing list of other worldwide publishers.
Either way, it’s an interesting move for Skype and for European Directories. The former now diversifies its revenue model, during a somewhat tumultuous time, and taps into the $31 billion global Yellow Pages pie. Skype’s director of advertising, Andy Simms, will speak about this at our upcoming ILM conference. In the meantime, Look out for the press release, which should hit wires first thing tomorrow morning.
Update: Here is the release.