Lovina McMurchy
Posted on 3/30/2014


For many marketers, that word instills a feeling of uncertainty. Daily, we hear that brands are struggling to reach the younger demographic due to their always on-the-go lives and natural tendency to multi-task. Throughout the day, this demographic is bouncing between apps on their smartphones, gaming and connecting PCs, phones and tablets. Historically, social media platforms were the key to connecting with this demographic, but the winds are shifting and current trends indicate millennials are moving their digital lives elsewhere. Sifting through the leftover debris of forgotten status updates, long-gone tweets and discarded texts, marketers are now searching for clues to find this highly coveted audience.

We heard you, marketers, and have some good news: Millennials are on Skype.

While other companies have seen interactions with younger users decline, Skype has seen positive growth numbers in recent years. Specifically our Millennials audience has grown 28% year-over-year, reaching 24% of 18 – 24 year olds worldwide.[1] In the US alone, Skype mobile reaches 22% of Millennials.[2]

Not only are we experiencing positive connected user growth in younger demographics, Skype users are deeply engaged with the product, averaging 30 minutes per call and 150 minutes per month[3] adding up to an overall connected user population that spends more than 8 billion hours a year on Skype.[4] These figures position Skype as the 4th most engaging app among the top 30 highest reach apps in the US.[5]

So why are Millennials favoring Skype? A few reasons based off of feedback we’ve received:

  • 18-24 year olds value the ability to share their lives with those they care about most in an environment that fosters security. Skype enables Millennials to share their feelings and communicate with their friends in real time without the threat of public exposure. Over a third of Skype Millennials tell us they use Skype to communicate with their family weekly, and nearly half use Skype to connect with a close friend weekly. [6]
  • Millennials are on the go and Skype is one of the largest mobile communication products in the world. Over a third of Skype’s 300 million connected users worldwide access Skype through their mobile devices every month.[7] This group has discovered a safe haven in mobile, flocking to apps that allow them the previously mentioned benefit of personal security.
  • Skype is available on the devices millennials use most. With availability across Android, iOS and Windows on phones, devices and PCs – Skype is available when and where the youth demographic wants it. Because of its ability to span across a variety of operating systems, Skype seamlessly connects users with the ones they love.
  • Video, Chat, Message. Millennials don’t just use their phones and devices to make calls. Skype users communicate and collaborate in ways beyond just video and audio calling. In fact, Skype is the leading IM mobile app in overall time spent in the US, US users spend 2X more time on Skype than Whatsapp and WeChat.[8]

These numbers indicate that Skype remains a popular place for Millennials to make meaningful connections with the people they care about in a safe space. We believe this loyalty is because of Microsoft’s dogged determination to build products that fulfill real consumer needs for everyone. At home, at work, on the go and at play, the quest for high quality user experience never ends. Brand marketers can take solace this consumer-first manifesto offers ad experiences across PC, TV, console, tablet and mobile that are beautiful, useful and relevant.

Marketers interested in learning more about Skype ads should talk with their account executive or visit http://advertising.microsoft.com/skype.

Lovina McMurchy, GM Skype Advertising

[1] Source: Dec 2012 – Dec 2013, comScore Mobile Metrix, January 2014, United States

[2] Source: comScore Mobile Metrix, January 2014, United States

[3] Source: Skype Internal Data, Sept. 2013

[4] Source: Telegeography, Feb 2013

[5] Source: comScore Mobile Metrix, January 2014, United States

[6] Source: Third Party Survey Skype Users, September 2013

[7] Source: Skype internal data, September 2013

[8] Source: comScore Mobile Metrix – Jan 2014

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