Microsoft Advertising just announced the availability of Skype advertising inventory in Singapore and Indonesia. Additionally, Catcha Digital finalized a deal with Microsoft Advertising to be the exclusive advertising representative of Skype in Malaysia, covering MSN Malaysia (, Windows Live and now Skype.

More than a telephone, Skype allows you see the person you are talking to and truly share moments. You are never tied to a landline or a cord, and all you have to do is download the software or app. In 2011 alone, international Skype-to-Skype call minutes increased 48 percent to approximately 145 billion minutes – an increase of 47 billion minutes.

Advertising on Skype now provides brands access to a platform that has broad global reach and engagement – with more than 200 million connected users per month. It gives brands a unique opportunity to be part of the Skype experience, which enables people around the world to connect when they are apart through voice and video calling, instant messaging, conferencing, file and screen sharing and more. In addition, it is a pioneer in creating rich, meaningful real-time video and voice communications and is widely used by individuals and businesses.

This expansion represents Skype's strategy to become a global communications provider that billions of people depend on every day for sharing experiences. Skype advertising provides brands with an intimate and social platform that has broad reach and engagement across a global peer-to-peer network. Skype calls total more than 300 billion minutes annually, with approximately 50% of these minutes in video calls and 40 million concurrent users.

Bruno Fiorentini Junior, General Manager for Asia-Pacific, Microsoft Advertising & Online, said, "Our aspiration is to reach a billion users every day through Skype. We understand that the Skype experience is paramount to this success, and as such, our focus remains on using the platform to engaging consumers and brands. Our advertising offerings will continue to support the Skype business while taking advantage of their significant growth and reach in Asia."

In conjunction with the availability of Skype inventory in Singapore and Malaysia, Catcha Digital announced an agreement with GroupM Interaction to allow exclusive use of Skype's premium rich media ads for Maxis Home, a home internet multiple-play service. With its track-record as a 'first-mover' in the technology space, Maxis' goal with the Skype campaign is to showcase the innovative fibre connectivity solutions the company provides Malaysian consumers.

"We are very excited to exclusively partner with Skype in Malaysia and also have GroupM Interaction and Maxis on-board as launch advertisers, "said Damon Rielly, Chief Operating Officer of Catcha Media Berhad. "With Skype, Catcha Digital lets advertisers reach out to a unique audience in a personal and captive connected environment where they are more likely to share what they see, hear and experience."

Joni Leimala, Head of Interaction of GroupM Malaysia said, "We are delighted to be Catcha Digital's launch partner on Skype and are looking forward to work closely together to introduce new, interactive rich media advertising opportunities to our clients."

Here are listed the five main reasons why Skype is making marketers and brands in Asia take notice:

  1. Reach: With more than 200 million connected users per month, Skype is growing twice as fast as the world's population. Skype calls total more than 300 billion minutes per year, half of which are spent on video calls. Skype just reached a new milestone when 40 million concurrent users were signed in all at once. More than just a peer-to-peer network, Skype is a global, social phenomenon.
  2. Affluent Audience: Skype's strategy is to become a global communications provider that billions of people depend on every day for sharing experiences. According to internal research, Skype users in Asia are mature, educated and affluent, and use Skype at home and work.
  3. Multiscreen and Multiplatform: Skype is always on, every day. It is part of the social fabric of pop culture and the perfect environment for brand messaging across multiple platforms and devices, including PC, Mac, iPad, and Facebook video calling. Mobile platforms, including Android, iOS and Windows, are available in some markets and will come to Asia soon.
  4. Rich Media: With rich media capabilities, brands can engage the entire Skype audience in an uncluttered and social, but highly measurable, environment. The Homepage Takeover supports video and image galleries for premium creative execution. Additionally, Skype offers Click-to-Call, where a toll-free number on the ad unit takes users directly to the brand call center.
  5. Social Connections: Skype is more personal than status updates, check-ins, direct messages or instant messages. Video capabilities make it even more intimate than regular phone calls. On average, Skype contact lists consist of our closest relationships, the relationships that matter most – and have the most effect on decision-making – making advertising on Skype a harmonious fit.

By MediaBUZZ