Skype is stepping up its mobile advertising game.
The Microsoft-owned company is introducing a rich media mobile placement for iPhone today in select markets and plans to bring advertising to its Android app later this month.
Mobile is a growing area of the Skype business, according to Lovina McMurchy, gm of Skype Advertising. A third of the company's 300 million monthly users access Skype on mobile, she said, and Skype's Android app recently hit its 100 millionth download.
"The move to mobile, that is where we see our future," McMurchy said, noting that the company had to date been more focused on its PC offering than its mobile products. But going forward, "the mobile side is going to be important to our monetization strategy," McMurchy added.
Ford and Telefónica are the first brands to utilize the rich media units, per McMurchy. Ford ran its campaign in the U.S., while Telefónica ran in Germany. Both brands ran pilot tests over the past month and are continuing as launch sponsors on iPhone.
The rich media units are available for iPhone in the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Italy, Spain, Germany and France. Later this month, the rich media units will be available on Android in those same countries as well as Russia.
The unit itself starts as a 320×50 mobile banner, then expands to 320×416 after users choose to interact with the ad. The unit can support audio, video, animation and other features.