Google + eBay: Click-to-Call’s Coming Out Party? August 30, 2006Posted by NoWires in Local search, Technology, Web.
Recent announcement of partnership between eBay and Google for eBay’s international ad sales is not entirely surprising. After all both companies have formidable presence out side of the US. What is worth noting however, is the prominent mention of Skype and Click-to-Call got in this deal.
Unlike eBay’s earlier similar deal with Yahoo for the US market that doesn’t involve Skype, this deal with Google features Skype as the vehicle that would allow eBay users to call the merchants to complete the transaction. For the international market, especially eBay’s fast growing markets in Asia, this makes a lot of sense. Despite years of infrastructure build out, cost of telephone call is still considerably higher there than developed countries. Skype’s VOIP calls give users there a realistic cheap alternative. On top of that, Skype already have a huge user base in these emerging markets.
This is still early stage of Click-to-Call’s development. However, it appears that both eBay and Google are willing to bet its potential to open up lucrative stream of ad revenue down the road.
What does this move mean for existing Click-to-Call players in the field? Quite a few companies, such as Jambo, Miva, eStara, have been working for years on this concept with varying degree of success. This development is certainly a strong endorsement of the business model. However, given the enormous reach of both these companies, every in the field certainly can feel the pressure.