Skype CEO Josh Silverman can’t stop smiling in this video interview we recorded in Menlo Park this morning. And no wonder – despite serious legal and spinoff drama, Silverman has managed to close his multi-billion dollar spinoff of Skype from eBay. His legal troubles have evaporated. Skype is growing like a weed. And he’s managed to keep his job running the business. Life is good.
Well, that and keep this train on the tracks. Skype has exploded to over half a billion users, and is adding 300,000 new ones every day, Silverman says in the interview. 1/3 of usage is video, despite the fact that video calls can only be 1-1. Voice calls are multi-party. And revenue is cruising along at $185 million/quarter with 24.2% margins. Up to 20 million people are using Skype at any one time.
We talk a little about Skype’s business in the interview. But most of the focus in 2010. “You’ll see Skype become a lot more ubiquitous in a lot more places, both mobile devices as well as embedded devices,” he says, adding “expect to see us on a lot more platforms.”
We also spoke about Skype as a developer platform. Extras is now long gone, but Silverman reiterated that soon Skype will push far more powerful developer tools that can turn Skype into a service. That means Skype can run outside of the Skype client. That doesn’t necessarily mean Skype in the browser, they still say Flash isn’t powerful enough to run Skype in browser. But perhaps we’ll see Skype code being build directly into browsers.
We also spoke briefly about Chrome OS. Google’s new operating system doesn’t let users install software, meaning Skype is out. Flash is the only third party plugin Google will say will be included. Things like Silverlight and Skype are in limbo unless and until Google decides to include them. Silverman ends the interview with “If the Google folks are interested in building Skype into Chrome we’d certainly be interested in having that conversation.”
I hope they do have that conversation, soon.