Skype offers services through affiliates

Skype launches new affiliate program to generate more business.

Skype Technologies SA aims to generate more business from its Internet telephone service by rewarding partners who agree to promote and sell it.

Skype is rolling out an affiliate program that will give groups such as Web retailers, bloggers, and online communities commissions of up to 10 percent of the revenue they generate, the company said Tuesday.

The program, which Skype has tested for the past two weeks, has already generated 1,800 affiliates, including 192.com, aSmallWorld, Firstream and SuperEva, the company said.

Skype offers a VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol) service that uses peer-to-peer (P-to-P) software. The service allows users to make free calls between Internet-connected PCs and handheld devices.

The Luxembourg company generates revenue from premium services. These include the SkypeOut service, which allows users to make calls from the Internet to traditional circuit-switched phones; the SkypeIn service, which works the other way, allowing traditional phone users to make calls to VOIP devices, and voice mail.

The affiliate program will be managed by Commission Junction Inc., a ValueClick Inc. company and provider of affiliate systems. Commission Junction will be in charge of tracking, reporting and paying affiliates.

Skype is one of the fastest growing VOIP companies in the world. Currently, the company claims around 39 million users, a number that is increasing by more than 150,000 new users every day.

SkypeOut has around 1.4 million users, the company said. Figures for SkypeIn and voicemail were not immediately available.

Skype was launched nearly two years ago by Niklas Zennstrom who cofounded the Kazaa P-to-P file sharing service.

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