Mozilla, makers of the Firefox web browser, released the State of Mozilla annual financial report for the year 2016, and things could not look better from a financial point of view.
The Mozilla Foundation and subsidiaries saw revenue increase in 2016 by 99 million US Dollars from 421 million US Dollars in 2015 to 520 million US Dollars in 2016.
Expenses on the other hand did not increase at the same rate. Expenses sat at 337 million US Dollars in 2015, and are reported as 360 million US Dollars in 2016.
The bulk of the revenue, 503 million out of the 520 million US Dollars comes from royalties. While Mozilla does not provide details on those, the bulk here comes from deals with companies like Yahoo, Baidu or Yandex which get their search engines promoted in Firefox.
Mozilla changed its strategy in regards to search engines in Firefox in 2014 when it switched from selecting one global partner to selecting regional partners instead. The organization selected Yahoo as the default search provider in the United States for instance, and agreed on a five year contract that made Yahoo the default in the US for that time.
Mozilla ditched Yahoo recently however in favor of Google, two years before the five year contract would be up for renewal. The terms of the new deal with Google have not been revealed yet, and it remains to be seen whether this new deal will give Mozilla's revenue another boost in 2017.
The organization launched Firefox 57, a new version of the web browser recently designed to future proof Firefox by dropping legacy components and focusing on WebExtensions instead, an inter-browser standard that most web browsers support these days.
The impact this move has on Mozilla won't be seen until the organization releases its 2018 report, considering that the switch happened at the end of the year.
It is a good thing that Mozilla is doing well financially. While the organization's revenue pales in comparison to Google's, Microsoft's or Apple's, its approach to development, privacy and openness is refreshingly different from that of the other major players in the browser market.
Now You: What do you think will Mozilla focus on in 2018 and beyond?