web stats

Friday, November 18, 2005

Chewing my words on Ebay.

After writing my first opinion about Ebay’s acquisition of Skype, I have been disturbed since with one incessant question “WHY”. This put me on the course of enlightenment and with my nose stuck to the monitor I started to sniff the Internet. This is my second take about Ebay’s acquisition. And honestly, I am making myself chew my own words!

Ebay’s demograpics:

By age: 45-54 (28%); 35-44 (26%); 55+ (22%); 25-34 (17%); 18-24 (7%)
Gender: 53% male, 47% female
Income: $35-75K (31%); $25-50K (23%); $75-100K (19%); $100-150K (14%); $150K+ (8%); $0-25K (5%).
Source: http://auctionknowhow.com/AG/72005.shtml

Countries Served: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom. Source: http://www.ebay.com

Comparing the above data to the user base and countries most served by Skype (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skype#Usage/ http://mathaba.net/news/?x=408348).

Besides seeing dead people, I see two other things here. One, Skype has presence in some regions/countries where Ebay is not there yet. Second, age group – Ebay’s majority user base sits between the ages of 35 and 54(avg: 44.5) where as Skype’s average user age is 29.

How will Ebay benefit from this?
- Access to new user base(age group)
- More economical customer retention (added value through VoIP). Why does Google need to have Email, IM and VoIP when its core competency is web search?
- Access to user base in countries/regions where Ebay is not already operating but may plan to operate in
- Web 2.0 is about experience (hello AJAX), how can voice be ignored?

I am sure there may be one hundred and one more reasons why this is viable but for now this is all I could sniff.