Marketing and advertising giant Dentsu has inked a deal (PDF) with Skype to offer display ads in Japan. Under the terms of the agreement, Dentsu will serve as the exclusive display advertising partner for Skype in Japan as of July 2011, at least for advertising campaigns that are not multi-national or multi-regional in nature.
In November 2010, Apple and Dentsu announced a partnership that made the latter responsible for selling iAds in Japan. Dentsu also works with Facebook and OpenX.
Dentsu will start selling Skype’s digital inventory, which will appear in the “Home” tab of Skype for Windows (version 5.1 and above) with immediate effect.
Dentsu and Skype stress that this is only the first phase of their relationship.
According to the two companies, Skype users in Japan spend an average of 2 hours per month on Skype Home. Overall, Skype boasts an average of 170 million monthly users worldwide and roughly 30 million concurrent users at peak times as of March 2011.
Ads on Skype Home are typically larger than a typical banner ad, and expand to twice its original size (and more interactive elements) upon clicking. Under the terms of the deal, the number of advertisers on Skype are limited to one per day.
The interactive ads for Skype’s Windows clients were rolled out in March 2010. Skype has also partnered with Meebo in the US, Ad2One in the UK, and Ströer Interactive in Germany to sell advertising in their respective markets.
Amazingly, Dentsu was originally founded back in 1901 (yes, that would be 110 years ago). It currently has close to 20,000 employees worldwide servicing some 6,000 clients.
The company occasionally invests in American companies through its subsidiary cci; they’ve backed mobile ad network operator JumpTap and online video company Brightcove, for example.