Skype and Logitech Sign Global Marketing Deal

Logitech, supplier of personal peripherals, and Skype, the Global Internet Telephony Company, announced an agreement to work together on marketing and promotional initiatives.

As part of the agreement, Logitech will bundle up to 120 minutes worth of free vouchers for SkypeOut – the pre-pay service that allows Skype users to call traditional phone numbers – with Logitech USB Headsets sold in Europe, the United States and Canada. The free SkypeOut trial will enable customers of Logitech USB Headsets to experience clear voice communications from their PC to people using a telephone or mobile phone, around the world. In addition, they will be able to use the Skype service to talk to other Skype users on PCs around the world, free of charge. The two companies will also promote the other’s products on their respective Web sites.

The packaging of qualifying Logitech audio products will indicate that the products are “Skype Certified”. In the future, Logitech and Skype may extend the geographical reach of their co-marketing initiatives, and evaluate possible cooperation in product development.

Skype is revolutionizing the world of telecommunications by allowing its 15 million users to make superior-quality voice calls via their PC over the Internet to other Skype users for free, or to any landline or mobile phone worldwide at local rates.

“Logitech’s PC headsets, which offer comfort, convenience and superior audio, are the perfect complement to Skype’s Internet telephony services,” said Bob Wick, senior vice president of Logitech’s Audio and Interactive Entertainment business units. “This marketing agreement will help both Logitech and Skype expose our mutual customers to the value of high-quality voice communications over the Internet.” “Logitech has a strong retail presence in the US, Europe and Asia,” said Niklas Zennström, Skype CEO and co-founder. “We admire Logitech’s focus on quality, innovation and style and are pleased to execute this agreement.”


Europeans Devote 20% of Media Activity to the Internet

There has been a rise in the amount of time people spend online, with the Internet now accounting for 20% of Europeans’ media consumption, according to research commissioned by the European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA).

The Internet now represents 20% of European’s media consumption, above magazines (8%) and newspapers (11%) but below radio (30%) and TV (35%), according to the research.

The study was undertaken via phone interviews with 7,000 respondents in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the Nordic countries between September and October 2004. Five hundred were interviewed in both Belgium and the Netherlands. The study was designed to quantify how people allocate their time across media in Europe and to gauge consumer perceptions of the Internet and the role it plays within their media selection.

The EIAA is a pan-European trade organisation for sellers of interactive media. Members are currently AdLINK Internet Media AG, AOL Europe, LYCOS Europe, MSN International, Tiscali, T-Online International and Yahoo! Europe.


According to the survey, the Internet now accounts for 20% of European’s media consumption, up from 10% in December 2003. Almost half of all Europeans are now using the Internet with penetration rates ranging from 74% (Sweden) to 34% (Spain).

At 35%, TV continues to represent the lion’s share of the average European’s media consumption, followed by radio (30%), the Internet (20%), newspapers (11%) and magazines (8%).

Respondents generally perceived the Internet as a more pro-active media. Sixty-one per cent viewed it as a medium to “keep you ahead of the game” and half cited the Internet as their favourite source of information. Seventy per cent rated the Internet as “the best place to get what you want when you want it” and 80% described it as the “best time-efficient medium”.

These results compare with a separate study by the Online Publishers Association (OPA) in New York which showed that, for the first time in the US, content such as information services or entertainment became “the leading online activity as measured by share of time spent online”. Content surpassed other online activities such as communications, commerce and search.


“We are witnessing a shift in how consumers are using the Web as broadband households continue to grow. Clearly, it is much more than a tool; it is a primary source of information, entertainment and fun,” said Michael Zimbalist, President of the Online Publishers Association.

“The Internet is now a rival to other media and with ‘always on’ and mobile technologies emerging, we can only expect this trend to continue,” said Michael Kleindl, Chairman of the EIAA.

The number of Dutch broadband connections (cable and ADSL) increased from 2.53 million on 30 June 2004 to 2.85 million on 30 September 2004. The penetration of broadband connections in Dutch households reached 40.4 percent on 30 September 2004 compared to 22.9 percent on 30 September 2003. ADSL increased market share to 54.7 percent and penetration per household to 22.1 percent. Cable continues monthly additions over 100,000, thanks to @home with 49,000 new customers. @home boosted its customer base to 409,000 and passed chello, while Wanadoo saw a seasonal dip in quarterly growth, continuing to stay the largest broadband ISP with 429,000. Het Net doubled net additions to 66,000, passing the 200,000 milestone in Q3 and becoming the fifth largest broadband ISP with 204,000 subscribers, behind chello with 379,600 and Planet Internet with 376,000.

European Interactive Advertising Association

MPAA to pursue film file-sharers

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) announced it would follow in the footsteps of the recording industry and legally pursue people who swap pirated copies of films over the Internet.

Dan Glickman, head of the MPAA, said legal action would be taken against “hundreds of people” seeking damages of up to $30,000 (~€23,000, ~£16,000) per shared film.

“This was not an easy decision, but it must be done now before illegal online file-sharing of movies spins out of control,” said Glickman. “Illegal movie trafficking represents the greatest threat to the economic basis of movie-making in its 110-year history.”

The crackdown will target individuals who deal in illegally copied cinema products on file-swapping networks, as well as the pirates themselves.

The MPAA claims the US film industry loses more than $3bn (~€2.3Bn, ~£1.6bn) every year in potential global revenue because of piracy. But Glickman said the figure did not take into account the losses from thousands of illegal online downloads that were swapped every day.

The MPAA draws particular attention to the popular file-sharing application, BitTorrent. Written by Bram Cohen, which is designed to offer the files as fragments for faster, easier transfer from peer-to-peer (P2P). One destination website for Bit Torrent fans,, offers users free downloads of thousands of movies, TV shows, music, software and games files. The site is run on donations and some website advertising.

A parallel initiative sees the MPAA hoping that new software will encourage parents to identify their children as “file-sharing felons”. The software, designed to identify and removal of potentially infringing material and P2P applications on the PC, is part of the MPAA’s war on file sharing and will be released for free by the MPAA at a later date.

Online music file sharing is measured in billions of files downloaded, but the MPAA says that under 150,000 movie titles are traded each day in the US on file sharing services.