- Associated Press - Monday, March 7, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - Internet phone company Skype says it is launching advertising on its service for the first time.

The Luxembourg-based company, which is still 30 percent owned by online auction house eBay Inc., also announced Monday its first advertisers: Groupon Inc., Nokia Corp., Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures and Visa Inc.

Skype said its platform, with 145 million users a month and 29 million at peak times, is attractive for brands to market their products. The platform will support large-format, rich interactive ads.

Display ads can also feature a “Click & Call” button so users can act on impulse. Ads can be shared on Facebook and Twitter.


Skype said it is partnering with advertising sales companies such as Meebo in the U.S., Ad2One in the U.K., and Stroer Interactive in Germany.