Who’s the Audience for VoIP & Video Calls: Women or Vain Men?

Men, not the women they often say talk more than them, are the more likely users of new communications technology, leading the way both in use of international VoIP and video call services. According to a new Harris Interactive (s hpol) survey of 2,258 adults, 31 percent of men making international calls would likely do so with Skype or another VoIP or video service, as compared to 19 percent of women likely to do the same. This, and other data in the survey, indicates that marketing the benefits of new or inexpensive international calling services could be targeted at women who don’t yet see the point.

Such services are big business: The survey data, sponsored by Rebtel, a low-cost mobile VoIP provider, estimates 58.8 million Americans spend a total of $23.8 billion per year on international calls. Of those, 51 percent are still using a traditional landline, so there’s still a tremendous business opportunity for the Rebtels, Skypes and Truphones of the world. Here’s another example from the survey data: 42 percent of men vs. 24 percent of women say they’d likely pay a monthly fee for video calling services. And 10 percent of men would be willing to change their international calling to VoIP while a scant 2 percent of women would consider the same.

If men are more apt to use VoIP or video call technology, why waste a majority of advertising dollars on them if they already have an affinity for the services? Throwing ad dollars at us vain, visual men, who already like to talk in front a camera on their computer is easy, but convincing women to do so would rapidly build up an entirely new user base.

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