In the past, I have written about the growing trend of people not making phone calls and the implications for investment in VoLTE. In fact, a recent PwC study of US post-paid subscribers found the first ever decline in voice minutes of use in 2011.
Non-verbal 'social-network' communications has become prevalent and popular – think SMS, email, Twitter and Facebook – particularly for the under-30 crowd.
With mobile operators relying on 60-70% of their revenues from plain old mobile telephony service (POMTS – it doesn’t have the same ring as POTS), the trend away from telephony or even voice is disconcerting.
But the last company I would think of feeling the pain of this transition is Skype, who has redefined voice communications for the Internet age.
Yet according to an article in Adweek, Skype is launching a $12 million campaign that “rips into Twitter and Facebook”.
The ads, initially to be placed in/around London, take aim at the non-verbal SMS /Twitter /Facebook 'conversations' that seem to dominate today.
Of course Skype is a leader in (mostly free) voice and video conversations. I think it's ironic that Skype has chosen to spend advertising dollars on these orthogonal 'competitors' rather than going after traditional voice/telephony providers like mobile operators.
The implication, of course, is that the real threat to a company like Skype isn't other telephony providers, but in fact the general decline in people making calls.
No wonder Verizon dropped their iconic "Can you hear me now?" ad campaign.