The WSJ and NY Times articles were a little vague on details re the implementation of the eBay and Google deal. I reached out to Google and Skype and just got off the phone with Skype. Here’s more information:
- The Google-eBay AdSense deal is international. Click to Call/PPCall is US only for now.
- This is a much more significant deal than I realized because this IS Google’s entry into PPCall in the US. It will be tested sooner but roll out mid 2007. After that it will likely roll out internationally at some point.
- People with Google Talk or Skype software installed on their computers will have the option to use either system (on either platform) to initiate calls. The statement was that both companies were opening up their marketplaces to both voice clients. While it’s not entirely clear yet what happens if I have both (as I do), presumably users can specify a default system for further calls. If neither system is installed Google or eBay may promote a software download. (That scenario is tbd.)
- I asked: “Why does Skype need Google?” I was told that this deal was to bring complementary strengths to the table to help accelarate the adoption of PPCall. Google has search volume and advertisers; Skype has much more distribution/adoption of VoIP than Google Talk. Again, users will be able to use Skype on Google results pages.
- There has been no decision yet (officially) on whether eBay PPCall advertisers will get distribution on Google and Google advertisers on eBay. Assume probably yes.
- I asked about Yahoo! Skype said that part of the US Yahoo! partnership involves click to call/PPCall and that Skype intends to continue with that relationship. Speculating, I would imagine that a similar, more specific PPCall deal will be announced with Yahoo! at some point.
- Free “Skype me” buttons/integration will still be available to eBay sellers. PPCall is about offline transactions from Skype’s point of view
So now that I know more, what about all this?
- This is Google’s US PPCall entry (though it may not be limited to this). It potentially “mainstreams” PPCall for online advertisers
- It does leverage Skype’s distribution (as well as Google’s potentially) for eBay. It doesn’t appear to be a statement of “weakness” about Skype.
- An interesting scenario is one where Skype becomes a search platform that serves up PPCall advertisers from eBay, Google and potentially other partners. So it’s Skype as a local search directory/engine.
I’m sure I’ll think of more later.
Here’s the eBay press release.