Media buyers have been queuing up to tell the Financial Times that Skype, now owned by Microsoft, can transform (or maybe improve) its commercial fortunes by attracting more video advertising.
This still makes the Skype purchase price of $8.5bn look decidedly toppy but maybe Microsoft argues (to itself) that it needs an online product with a huge user base (170m users a month) to compete with Facebook and Google’s YouTube in the video advertising stakes.
As ever, the doubts centre on users’ attitude to video advertising which many see as an intrusion. In particular they dislike the brand advertising which prefaces using online services although this, unfortunately, is exactly what online owners want to attract as it is far more profitable than click-through ads.
The real beneficiaries of this and other such deals which are bound to follow will be creative agencies. Clients who are persuaded to use more online video advertising will be desperate to find creative with the required appeal and cut-through which, ultimately, will lead them into agency creative departments.
The losers might be conventional TV broadcasters, like the UK’s struggling ITV, which will see more ads slide away to online.