Nov 2, 2021 - Economy & Business

Zoom dips toe into ad mode

Screenshot of Zoom with a placeholder for future ads
Screenshot: Zoom

Zoom is treading carefully into an ad-supported model, announcing on Monday that it would start showing ads to people who use its free, “basic” tier in certain countries.

Why it matters: Zoom wants to monetize the large numbers of people who got hooked on the platform during the pandemic.

Context: The company’s freemium business model is fueled by its enterprise contracts.

  • While Zoom doesn’t disclose how many people use the service for free — CFO Kelly Steckelberg noted during the company’s last earnings call that free calls make up about 30% of the minutes on its platform now compared with 10% pre-pandemic. 

Our thought bubble: People have gotten good at producing live shows and events via Zoom. If the company finds a way to make video broadcasts even easier through its developer program, it could better compete with YouTube and traditional TV.

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