Skype Unveils New Premium Package & Group Calling Feature

Skype is keeping busy at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. With rumors that the company would be buying Qik by the end of the show, and then turning out that the deal is already almost finished up, it seems that the company is revamping a few key areas of their business plan at the start of 2011. With that in mind, the company has unveiled a new premium package for those who need to do more, together.

The company has unveiled the new premium packages in tandem with the announcement of their new group video calling feature. This gives users the ability to correspond in groups, instead of just one-on-one. The group feature will be part of the premium package, and the company has provided several different options for people to use. All of the packages include live chat customer support, for those who need it.

The first package, which is meant as a day-pass for those who just need the service as a one-time deal, will cost $4.99, and the monthly subscription will run $8.99. But, as a bonus for those who sign up for the group feature right out of the gate, they'll receive a 33% discount on the available 3- or 12-month subscription plans. There won't be a discount made available for the day pass. The group calling feature, and the premium package are available now.

Press Release

Do More Together Wherever You Are with Skype Group Video Calling

Skype Launches New Premium Package

2011 International CES

LAS VEGAS, Nev.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Today at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Skype has officially launched group video calling for consumers and enterprises, allowing people to do more together wherever they are. Whether you're looking to bring your family together on a video call or better connect with work colleagues across the globe, group video calling makes it easy to bring to together groups of three or more on a single video call. Video calling accounted for approximately 41.5% of all Skype-to-Skype minutes in the second half of 2010.

Group video calling is available as part of the new Premium package from Skype which offers group video calling together with access to live chat customer support as a day pass for $4.99 (€3.49/£2.99)* or as a monthly subscription for $8.99 (€5.99/£4.99)* per month. Skype users who sign up for group video calling in the first month it's available will receive a 33 percent discount on 3 and 12-month subscriptions. New users receive a 7-day free trial. In addition, consumers who sign up for group video calling will receive a 25 percent discount off an HD webcam.

Group video calling is also available in the new Business version of Skype, a desktop application for PCs, which gives enterprises the ability to control how Skype is used within the workplace, with the capacity to turn off or configure a variety of Skype settings. With group video calling, enterprises can easily set up real-time, face-to-face meetings and work in more collaborative and productive ways. For enterprises using Skype Manager who sign up for Group Video Calling, they will receive a 33 percent discount when signing up for a 3 or 12 month subscription. In addition, they will receive a 15 percent discount off of a headset and speakerphone bundle.

Group video calling has brought together family, friends and work colleagues like never before, such as a Spanish family who were reunited after 6 years apart, the Global Learning Exchange who brought together classrooms from Singapore and Bakersfield, CA and companies like ePromos who can better collaborate with remote co-workers and suppliers.

To start a group video call, only one member of the call needs to have activated the seven-day free trial or to have signed up for a day pass or monthly subscription using Skype for Windows 5.1. For all participants to receive video, they need to be on at least the 5.0 version of Mac and windows. Skype video calls between two parties will continue to be offered as a free product.

Resources for Media:

Case studies on how consumers and organizations are benefiting from group video calling today

Screenshots of group video calling and other Skype products

Video of how businesses can use group video calling

*Pricing is VAT exclusive. Pricing inclusive of VAT for a day pass is $5.74 (€4.01/£3.44) and for a monthly subscription $10.34 (€6.89/£5.74). A fair usage policy applies.

About Skype

Skype is the world's communications platform whose purpose is to break down barriers to communication. With an Internet-connected device, families, friends and colleagues can get together for free with messaging, voice and video. At low cost, they can also call landlines or mobiles virtually anywhere in the world. Skype has recently introduced group video, allowing groups of more than two people to do things together whenever they're apart.