Video communications platform Zoom, which saw its value soar during the panemic lockdown but falter once in-person activities began to return, is looking to monetize its free “basic” user audience. The pilot program looks non-intrusive with ads appearing on browsers only once sessions have ended. Zoom reaffirmed its policy of not using meeting, webinar, or messaging content for marketing or promotional purposes.
The initiative, said Zoom, will enable service to basic users to continue. The pilot will roll out in selected countries with the ads being shown after sessions hosted by basic users.
Why we care. Zoom must be treading carefully here. There’s currently a lot of ad-free freemium service available in the video meeting space. A Google account gets you a one hour meeting with up to 100 participants for free; if you think a two hour meeting with 200 hundred participants is a good idea, reach for your wallet.
Nevertheless, the temptation to drive some value from that extensive sub-set of its 300 million users must be hard to resist? The reach is going to be huge, but the challenge will be to convince advertisers there’s value in inventory which requires users to hang around after Zoom meetings to consume it.
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