Skype, pretty much revolutionised the way people and businesses work forever. Its in-ground into my daily work as a major form of communication and for chats with friends & family in the evening too, as I strongly suspect, this is the same for you.
But I just don’t get their latest offering, Skype Premium, its all a bit flakey. Based on a single core offering and what’s extra, really is not that ‘great’.
Lets look at what they are offering:
- Group video calling
- Live chat customer support
- A Webcam offer
All for £5.74 (£4.99 ex VAT) per month.
I’m not so sure that people really want group video conferencing, we’ve all managed rather well up until now without it and on poorer connections its far from a good experience and to be quite frank, half the time I do not feel that I am in any publicly viewable state.
Yes, this might be different for connecting the Atlanta office to the Berlin Office, to the London office, where colleagues from across the globe who have never and will never likely to, meet up and be able to see each other. I see value in this service for this purpose.
Only one subscription is needed
Interestingly, only one person needs the Skype Premium account (or group video subscription) to be able to start a group video conference. This is a cunning idea by Skype, as it does not force every party to have the subscription to use it.
In an traditional office environment, it could be easily deployed to key departments, so at least one team member can invoke the group call.
There are two other ‘extras’ as part of the group offering, live customer support and a discount on a HD webcam.
The live customer support, I do not see a huge amount, if any value in, email customer support is fine and to be honest, I have never had a need to contact Skype in the for-however-many-years I have been using it. Yes, I have had problems, but each time I have its been global issues, which there is no point adding more tickets to what is a probably over-whelmed support system. If this is different for you, I’d love to hear your feedback on them.
The webcam discount, well, the camera is £120, that’s right ONE HUNDRED and TWENTY POUNDS. Its probably a great product but at £120 smacker-rooney’s I’ll be passing and I do not see the uptake being that huge, when the average price for a HD webcam on Google shopping is around £30, see here.
Can you suggest a different path?
Tough one this and I have been pondering this exact question since I saw the offering. The only take that comes to mind is that Skype actually offer a free 7 day trial of this subscription, however they’ve neglected to use this on the offering that is be promoted.
So why not leverage this as part of the offering, if it really of use to the ‘office’ or to show off puddles the new kitten to the family via a video conference, then people will take the offer up, its its not, they at least know what its about and have actually used the product, which is obviously better than never having done so?
In understand that Skype have a new product and need to innovate to make more revenue, subscriptions are a bread and butter line for Skype, but this one I’m not so sure.
I can see value in the upgraded subscription, especially as it has been sensible packaged just one member of the call needs the subscription to be able to start the group video conference. It might be handy for joining up offices in remote locations and for a family chat it might also be pretty cool to show puddles the kitten the new edition to the family to granny and mum.
But, at almost £6 a month, with no hint that there is actually a 7 day trial, I’m personally not willing to take it up (on face value) and the extra offerings are really quite weak, with support rarely used and a discount on a web camera, that is already heavily over priced.