Almost one-quarter of U.S. Web users have made a phone call via the Web with Skype, Vonage or some other VOIP service, according to Pew Internet.
A new report
from Pew Internet sheds some light on why Microsoft felt it necessary to pay
$8.5 billion for voice over IP giant Skype this month.
one-quarter (24 percent) of U.S. adult Web users, or 19 percent of all American
adults, have made calls online using Skype, Vonage or some other VOIP service,
the research organization said
May 30. Some 5 percent of Web users are
making calls online on any given day.
its findings from calling and polling 2,277 adults aged 18 and over from April
26 to May 22, 2011.
Lee Rainie said the new stats show marked increases in VOIP use from surveys
the research organization conducted in the past, particularly among affluent,
urban and younger users.
in February 2007, Pew found that 8 percent of Web users had placed calls online
and 2 percent of Web users were making calls on any given day.
various points during the 2000s, we asked similar questions and found that at most
about a tenth of Internet users had ever used the Internet to place calls and
the daily figure never rose above 1 percent of Internet users," Rainie
wrote in the report.
the general pickup in VOIP consumption to a few trends; calls from Skype and
other services are free domestically, and low-cost internationally; VOIP is
available on PCs, smartphones and tablet computers; and more meetings and
classroom activities use VOIP calling with video.
So there are
clearly consumer and business-user scenarios for VOIP.
interesting about this survey is that Rainie and his researchers specifically
referred to Skype, for which Microsoft plunked down a 10x premium, based on
Skype's 2010 sales of $860 million.
has over 600 million registered accounts, compared with 160 million active
users, has become
a business division within Microsoft, led
by Skype CEO Tony Bates. Bates will be tasked with ensuring Skype is blended
with Microsoft Lync, Office 365 and Xbox Live, among other products.
also believe Microsoft will use the Skype platform to generate traffic across
Windows-based PCs, Windows Phone handsets and home entertainment systems.