Mozilla revenue dropped in 2018 but it is still doing well - gHacks Tech News

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Mozilla revenue dropped in 2018 but it is still doing well

Mozilla published the organization's Annual Report for the year 2018 on November 25, 2019. The report, an audited financial statement, provides information on income and expenses in the year 2018.

One of the main questions that Firefox users may have had after 2017 was how well Mozilla was doing after it canceled the search deal with Yahoo (which was acquired by Verizon and the main search provider since 2014 when Mozilla picked Yahoo over Google).

Mozilla switched from a model in which it selected a single search provider to one that would pick providers based on regions in the world. Instead of just dealing with Yahoo, Mozilla picked companies like Google, Baidu or Yandex and made them the default provider in certain regions of the world.

The financial report indicates that the decision reduced the organization's revenue from royalties significantly. Mozilla earned about 539 million US Dollars in royalties in 2017 and only 429 million US Dollars in 2018; a drop of more than 100 million US Dollars.

mozilla 2018 report financials

The organization started to work on improving other revenue streams at about the same time and while these increased when compared to 2017, pale in comparison to the income by royalties. Revenue from subscriptions and advertising rose from 2.6 million US Dollars to 5.3 million US Dollars; it doubled and makes up more than 1% of the total revenue of the organization now. The organization acquired the Internet service Pocket in 2017.

Expenses increased in 2018 to 451 million US Dollars from 421 million US Dollars in 2017.

Mozilla stated that it remains in a strong financial position going forward.

Despite the year-over-year change, Mozilla remains in a strong financial position with cash reserves to support continued innovation, partnerships and diversification of the Firefox product lines to fuel its organizational mission.

Closing Words

Mozilla's revenue dropped by more than 110 million US Dollars in 2018 but the decision to cancel the deal with Yahoo was deliberate. The focus on other revenue streams doubled the revenue from non-search deals and it seems likely that revenue will go up even further in 2019 and beyond.

Plans to launch Firefox Premium, VPN services and other Firefox-branded products will certainly increase revenue earned from these streams further.

Considering that Mozilla's situation is not perfect, as it depends for the most part on money from its main competitor Google, diversifying revenue is more important than ever.

Now You: What is your take on Mozilla's situation?

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Mozilla revenue dropped in 2018 but it is still doing well
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Mozilla revenue dropped in 2018 but it is still doing well
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Mozilla published the organization's Annual Report for the year 2018 on November 25, 2019. The report, an audited financial statement, provides information on income and expenses in the year 2018.
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Comments

  1. michael said on November 26, 2019 at 9:17 am
    Reply

    This is better then I had expected. They earn almost 2$ per monthly user per year.

    Nevertheless it is the first year that they had spent more than they received

    And this is about 2018. We are at the end of 2019 and mozilla already works with the 2020 situation.

    Income diversification isn’t working yet.

    Yahoo had the obligation to still pay mozilla in 2018, and we don’t know whether their royalty payment is included in the 2018 financials, as mozilla hasnt released any information about it. They only write that the issue was resolved in 2019. We will only know
    for sure with the release of the 2019 financials.

    1. michael said on November 27, 2019 at 12:07 pm
      Reply

      I want to add that the current mozilla contract with google runs out next year.

      So at this point they still profit from the old contract where google pays a lot. But revenue per click is going down massively.

      Next year will see Windows 7 users almost completely migrating to Windows 10 and/or to the new Edge, essentially away from Firefox, and most of the money will shift to the mobile market anyway.

      It will be interesting to see whether Edge can bring new dynamics into the browser wars.

      I suspect Mozilla getting more radical in regards to user-friendly features but the choice of the new CEO (atm they do not have a CEO), will define the new strategies.

      The question is, if the new Microsoft Edge already offers more pro-user features than Firefox, how will Mozilla differentiate themselves in the future?

      And how long will they be able to pay for their own engine if keeping up with the google/apple web costs around 400.000.000$ per year?

      A wrapper around Chromium costs almost nothing, but would only increase the attractiveness for average users.

  2. Anonymous said on November 26, 2019 at 11:00 am
    Reply

    “Considering that Mozilla’s situation is not perfect, as it depends for the most part on money from its main competitor Google, diversifying revenue is more important than ever.”

    Mozilla Corporation is a for profit having 95% of their revenue from selling search terms to companies that are leading the charge against privacy and user rights, and this explains their own contempt for these values, compared to the “users first” ethical standards of the free software community. Diversifying with Yandex and Baidu in addition to Google can’t to solve this ethical problem as all these share the same interests of exploiting the users as the products. And diversifying by including their own adware in the browser is just worsening the ethical problem, while not even giving them any significant financial independence as the corresponding revenue is still insignificant after all these years.

  3. Yuliya said on November 26, 2019 at 11:45 am
    Reply

    2018? That was the year Mozilla started forcing telemetry on their users: https://www.ghacks.net/2018/09/21/mozilla-wants-to-estimate-firefoxs-telemetry-off-population/
    Their revenue fell a bit, didn’t it? Hmm, wait ’till you see the 2019 projection, lmao
    https://i.imgur.com/HvZBlZn.png

    1. Anonymous said on November 26, 2019 at 1:14 pm
      Reply

      @Yuliya: Thank you for a link and reminding. I followed it and I found an interesting comment.

      XenoSilvano said on August 21, 2013 at 6:15 pm
      ”This is why democratic voting where the majority wins is such a bad idea, you wouldn’t want people who know less than you about a given subject to influence the decisions for you.”

      https://www.ghacks.net/2013/08/21/why-you-may-want-to-enable-firefox-telemetry-data/

      I think it is a bad idea for Mozilla to make bad decisions, which based on telemetry. The majority of remaining users don’t know about telemetry or don’t care. They don’t care its functionality if it works somehow.

      1. Anonymous said on November 26, 2019 at 2:55 pm
        Reply

        Businesses use data collection for their own interest first, not for ours first, this has nothing to do with a sort of democratic vote. When an important feature they want to remove for bad reason is not used much, they’ll use telemetry as an excuse to remove it. When telemetry shows that it’s used a lot, they will just ignore the data and proceed to removal (example here with user.js: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1543752#c10).

        Actually it’s not that far from real world “democratic” elections. When businesses don’t like the results, they just do a military coup, murder the president, or ignore the result.

  4. Allwynd said on November 26, 2019 at 11:56 am
    Reply

    I think that’s because of the stupid things they did for their main product – Firefox. Quantum is faster than the previous versions, but it lacks lots of features that made Firefox what Firefox is all about. I’m expecting they will soon completely lock the UI like in Chrome so you can’t even customize it.

    Firefox was good in versions 2 and 3, it just got smoked by Chrome, because Chrome was bare-bones and super fast and Firefox was kind of bloated, especially on older computers.

    Now their Firefox for Android is very bloated and slow, they are remaking it with Firefox Preview, but the biggest issues is they disabled extension installing and it makes the browser completely useless as Firefox without extensions just isn’t Firefox anymore.

    Mozilla keeps suffering from their stupid decisions and the most curious part is they keep making more and more stupid decisions. I expect them to keep losing market share and revenue until they shut everything down or get acquired by someone else. It will be so funny if Google buys Mozilla and all its products. xD

    1. John Fenderson said on November 26, 2019 at 6:47 pm
      Reply

      @Allwynd: “Quantum is faster than the previous versions, but it lacks lots of features that made Firefox what Firefox is all about.”

      This is why I stopped using Firefox after Quantum. It stopped meeting my needs well.

      “I’m expecting they will soon completely lock the UI like in Chrome so you can’t even customize it.”

      I doubt they’ll go quite that far, but the Quantum switch also involved a serious reduction in the ability to customize the browser. That’s one of the primary things that made Firefox less than desirable to me.

      1. Allwynd said on November 27, 2019 at 2:04 am
        Reply

        @John Fenderson

        oh trust me, they will make Firefox even more of a clone of Chrome, except Firefox (ever since it started copying Chrome) has always been the crippled Chrome clone that never lives up to expectations.

        All they keep bragging about is bogus privacy protection that they’re implementing, since they know they can never make Firefox as good as Chrome, all they do is talk crap about fake features that don’t even work. Just install uBlock Origin or Nano Adblocker and Nano Defender, which are improved forks of uBlock Origin and you have all the privacy.

        They will make the browser with even more limited customization “for the sake of privacy” whatever that means.

        And in the end only the tinfoil hat sheep will still be using it and defending it. xD

      2. owl said on November 28, 2019 at 9:57 am
        Reply

        @Allwynd,
        oh trust me, they will make Firefox even more of a clone of Chrome
        Just install uBlock Origin or Nano Adblocker and Nano Defender

        Lol,
        You should stop the agitation which was based on the erroneous recognition!

        uBlock Origin for Firefox addresses new first-party tracking method | gHacks Tech News
        https://www.ghacks.net/2019/11/20/ublock-origin-for-firefox-addresses-new-first-party-tracking-method/?moderation-hash=58346154734ec77f853aa47d89c2783a&unapproved=4444902
        Closing Words
        Firefox users may change the configuration to make sure that they are protected against this new form of tracking. Chromium users cannot because the browser’s APIs for extensions does not have the capabilities at the time of writing.

        In measures against cyber attacks and personal information protection, browser vulnerability countermeasures have become an issue:
        Prevention of browser “core program” tampering,
        Measures to prevent historical data leakage,
        Measures against malware hidden in updates,
        Measures against privacy policy violations,
        etc.
        Based on those perspectives, Mozilla decided to abolish the “XUL/XPCOM” API, which can be directly involved in the program, and switch to the “WebExtension” API, which cannot be involved in the core program.

        Why Firefox Had to Kill Your Favorite Extension | How-To Geek(Justin Pot | November 18, 2017, 6:40am EDT )
        https://www.howtogeek.com/333230/why-firefox-had-to-kill-your-favorite-extension/

        What’s the WebExtensions API? | Browser Extensions – Mozilla | MDN |
        https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Mozilla/Add-ons/WebExtensions

        Firefox’s WebExtension API is separate from the Chromium’s WebExtension API and is not just a subset. Many Firefox-specific APIs have been established:
        Browser support for JavaScript APIs – Mozilla | MDN |
        https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Mozilla/Add-ons/WebExtensions/Browser_support_for_JavaScript_APIs

        A Classic Extension Reborn: Tree Style Tab – Mozilla Hacks – the Web developer blog
        Interview with an add-on developer (Piro) who rebuilt a very complex extension (Tree Style Tab) created on the legacy XUL platform for the new WebExtensions API
        https://hacks.mozilla.org/2017/12/webextension-tree-style-tab/

        Check out Piro’s post WebExtensions Migration Story of Tree Style Tab for his strategies, code snippets, and architectural diagrams of the XUL and WebExtensions platforms.
        WebExtensions Migration Story of Tree Style Tab | Piro’s post
        https://piro.sakura.ne.jp/latest/blosxom/mozilla/extension/treestyletab/2017-10-03_migration-we-en.htm
        ———————————————————-

        By the way, I have been using Firefox (ESR, DeveloperEdition, Nightly), Tor Browser, Pale Moon, Waterfox (Classic, Current), Brave (stable, beta, dev), Iridium Browser.
        Each has its own features, and they are used on a case-by-case basis also for maintain skills.
        However, since I am pleased with Firefox ESR after v60, it is the main browser.

      3. Lord-Lestat said on November 28, 2019 at 12:16 pm
        Reply

        @owl Mozilla propaganda…

        Mozilla removed all power user features (and they will also remove userchrome.css) to be attractive to Chrome users, to make Chrome users switch in masses.

        Chrome users do not accept and like “bloat” – so all the conservative features had to go.

        Also, as Mozilla has become a Conservatives hating “liberal/progressive developer” – they had even more reasons to remove power user/customization features, as Mozillas new darling users – the very same “liberal/progressive users” – have zero tolerance and understanding for everything which is “Conservative”.

        With this, Mozilla has become an anti-Conservatives developer, like Google is one too.

        Mozilla is a sell-out company which just sold their own creation and origin user-base as it was not compatible with “liberal/progressive visions/ideas” and the users who are in support of such a limited/restricting/intolerant world-view!

        Abandoning Conservative users and openly turning the back to them in favor of “liberals/progressives” – you know what that is basically called? Fascism – as this is the perfect word for this incredible hate against Conservatives and their features from Google-Mozilla and from a major part of their new user-base which they have been collected!

      4. Lord-Lestat said on November 28, 2019 at 12:26 pm
        Reply

        @Owl

        But there is a problem with this – No matter how much Mozilla is going to appeal to “liberal/progressive” simple/Chrome users with trying to eridicate the rest of what was part of a once conservative browser concept – The majority of this user-base will stay loyal to Google and Chrome – as Mozilla just jumped on the train in the hope to get a certain (as they hoped, quite big) percentage of this kind of user-group.

        And Mozilla will only be seen as the copy-cat, who adopted Chrome’s simple add-on system, it’s development mentality and political mentality.

        Beside from some differences, Mozilla is trying to be more of the same instead of unique and different to the competition. And all that because they got jealous and greedy.

        Mozilla is a disgrace for everything Open-Source – Real Open-Source developers have standards, morals, loyalty… all that what Mozilla is missing. They abuse this concept and even worse… they abuse the legacy of a real unique and once amazing past – which just was discarded for being “non-inclusive and non-liberal”

        Real liberal and inclusive would have been to offer support for both liberal and conservative users and their features. The common problem with this intolerant new kind of “liberal”progressive” developers and it’s management – they make use of words and concepts they do not at all understand and honor.

        And that is the worst of it all.

  5. John C. said on November 26, 2019 at 12:28 pm
    Reply

    Maybe if they’d stop removing features and start developing decent webextension APIs so that more functional extensions can be written, they’d stop losing users. It would also help if they’d cut back on the telemetry.

  6. Cinikal said on November 26, 2019 at 12:49 pm
    Reply

    So my coment to:

    Anonymous said on November 26, 2019 at 11:00 am

    “Considering that Mozilla’s situation is not perfect, as it depends for the most part on money from its main competitor Google, diversifying revenue is more important than ever.”

    Mozilla Corporation is a for profit having 95% of their revenue from selling search terms to companies that are leading the charge against privacy and user rights, and this explains their own contempt for these values, compared to the “users first” ethical standards of the free software community. Diversifying with Yandex and Baidu in addition to Google can’t to solve this ethical problem as all these share the same interests of exploiting the users as the products. And diversifying by including their own adware in the browser is just worsening the ethical problem, while not even giving them any significant financial independence as the corresponding revenue is still insignificant after all these years.

    about beaing a

    GOOGLE TROLL

    was not well received?

    Seems to be hidden

    1. Rex said on November 26, 2019 at 1:18 pm
      Reply

      Telling the truth makes one a gOoGLe tRoLL it seems.
      Google aren’t the ones being hypocrites about mining user data while pretending to care about privacy the way Mozilla is.

    2. Anonymous said on November 26, 2019 at 2:26 pm
      Reply

      Mozilla shills see Google trolls everywhere when their own disrespect for privacy is pointed out, but whenever it’s more specifically their disrespect for privacy that comes from copying or being in business with Google, they send their company bots explain everywhere that there is nothing wrong with what Google does and censor those criticisms when they can.

      “it’s just to pay our bills, the privacy cost for you is worth it for us, and we promise it won’t influence us, but when we add our own adware in Firefox we’ll still explain that it is to avoid Google’s influence”

      “google analytics in the browser (and on our addon site where we disable ublock origin) is not a problem because we have a special contract with them”

      “search telemetry counting ads clicks on your search result pages to better negotiate our contract with Google is not bad for privacy because, uh, because our name is Mozilla and we need money”

      “sending everything typed in the address bar to Google and removing the dedicated search bar is for convenience and having more beautiful empty space next to the address bar, not because we’re sell-outs”

      “dropping opensearch support for webextension search engines is not because we’re sell-outs either, but we haven’t yet thought of a credible justification, please stand by”

      “implementing click tracking pings that are on by default and can’t even be disabled in the preferences has nothing to do with Google Search using them to track clicks, it’s for your own good”

      “switching to the Google webextension system and disabling them in private browing is not because of our Google & Mozilla common war against addons, adblockers and the freedom to configure the browsers, it’s for your security”

      “forbidding the installation of and remotely disabling any extension that we haven’t approved with no work-around, like Google, is not just to create a walled garden where we can enforce our abusively restrictive policies, it’s for your security”

      Do we need to go on ?

    3. Anonymous said on November 26, 2019 at 3:24 pm
      Reply

      @Cinikal: Your first comment was one-liner ”GOOGLE TROLL” and you didn’t explained your opinion.

      1. Anonymous said on November 26, 2019 at 3:58 pm
        Reply

        “Your first comment was one-liner ”GOOGLE TROLL” and you didn’t explained your opinion.”

        It’s my fault, I made an impolite reply to Cinikal with a similar accusation against him, Ghacks rightfully removed it, and chose to remove the initial provocation with it, giving us a chance to discuss this again more courteously.

    4. ULBoom said on November 26, 2019 at 10:00 pm
      Reply

      Whatever that means; a claim that Mozilla trolls for Google maybe?

  7. Cinikal said on November 26, 2019 at 12:58 pm
    Reply

    It fit perfectly right abobe you know who

  8. JohnIL said on November 26, 2019 at 2:03 pm
    Reply

    Is it normal to take almost a year to get results from 2018?

  9. ULBoom said on November 26, 2019 at 9:58 pm
    Reply

    From the first link in the article:

    “In response to increasing public concern about data privacy and how people’s personal information is being used, many technology companies have answered by putting the onus to protect their privacy on users.”

    A least FF still has the ability to be made mostly private; no Chromium variant does. With system level blockers and (real)VPN’s, even more privacy is easy to achieve with either browser.

    Comparing Mozilla to Google, an ad company with so much money they can throw it at any whimsy they desire is silly. Google’s product development efforts are dreadful, a list of multi-billion dollar failures but they don’t care as long as everyone bows to them.

    Considering Mozilla can’t keep so many other companies hostage as Google can and Mozilla actually needs to try different business strategies and products to move ahead (as most companies do) they’re doing OK.

    If Big “Tech’s” monopolies are broken up, the Mozillas out there will become more important.

  10. Cinikal said on November 26, 2019 at 9:59 pm
    Reply

    Missing the question mark from original comment ???

    And a second comment is missing as well.

    Oh well, moving on, seems ghacks is falling into that dime a dozen category. Its the type that dont last long in my bookmarks.

    Good luck.

    1. stefann said on November 27, 2019 at 2:39 am
      Reply

      @Cinikal : Censorship fails – sooner or later there will be a blow back….too bad to hear Softonic now is in power of gHacks !

  11. notanon said on November 27, 2019 at 12:39 am
    Reply

    This is disappointing news.

    Like everyone with a brain, I want Firefox to succeed.

    It’s unfortunate that Marissa Mayer destroyed Yahoo. When you subtract the value of Alibaba stock & Yahoo Japan, then Yahoo (U.S.A.) that Marissa Mayer ran as CEO was worth LESS THEN $0.00.

    Marissa Mayer was so bad, that the renamed Yahoo (Altaba) had it put in writing that Marissa Meyer could never a part of the company in any way shape or form.

    Mayer got rid of as many male employees as possible and promoted women. Her gender based discrimination led to the eventually breaking up and selling of Yahoo.

    I don’t blame Mozilla from disassociating itself from the dumpster fire that was Yahoo under Marissa Mayer.

    Unfortunately, there’s really only Google, Yandex (Russia and ex-USSR countries), & Baidu (China) left. Yahoo is no longer relevant anymore.

    Google has 80-90% of the worldwide search market, so Mozilla is likely stuck with Google for the foreseeable future (Verizon is not going to bring Yahoo back into prominence as a search engine).

    It’s bad when your financial future is closely tied to your biggest competitor, but I doubt Google will cut-off the revenue to Mozilla. Mozilla is good to have around to avoid any anti-trust issues (remember it was the Internet Explorer that brought the Justice Department’s anti-trust case against Microsoft).

    Microsoft GAVE money (not loaned, gave Apple free money) when Apple was going bankrupt (Google it, it happened in pre-ipod/iphone era, when Motorola was producing Macintosh clones) to keep the government’s anti-trust division away. Apple never had even 10% of the marketshare, so Microsoft wanted Apple around, rather than have Apple go bankrupt and Linux (supported by IBM) become their chief competitor in the OS market.

    Google probably sees Mozilla the same way Microsoft viewed Apple decades ago.

    If Mozilla’s revenue is decreasing, than why is administration costs increasing?

    Mozilla probably needs to streamline their operation costs to reflect the new reality.

    1. owl said on November 28, 2019 at 10:43 am
      Reply

      > Unfortunately, there’s really only Google, Yandex (Russia and ex-USSR countries), & Baidu (China) left. Yahoo is no longer relevant anymore.
      Google has 80-90% of the worldwide search market, so Mozilla is likely stuck with Google for the foreseeable future (Verizon is not going to bring Yahoo back into prominence as a search engine).

      Search Engine Market Share Worldwide:
      https://gs.statcounter.com/search-engine-market-share

      > If Mozilla’s revenue is decreasing, than why is administration costs increasing?
      Mozilla probably needs to streamline their operation costs to reflect the new reality.

      Essence of the business,
      In order to weaken rival companies is “headhunting excellent engineers (key men) of rival companies”.
      Therefore, a guarantee (salary) to prevent headhunting is required.
      Reference example: professional athletes, etc.

      1. owl said on November 28, 2019 at 11:03 am
        Reply

        Former Mozilla exec: Google has sabotaged Firefox for years | ZDNet
        https://www.zdnet.com/article/former-mozilla-exec-google-has-sabotaged-firefox-for-years/
        one of the reasons we decided to end EdgeHTML was because Google kept making changes to its sites that broke other browsers, and we couldn’t keep up. | Hacker News
        https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18697824
        Google | Wikipedia
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google

      2. notanon said on November 29, 2019 at 12:50 am
        Reply

        @owl, there’s MORE THAN 1 source for browser statistics, that’s why I posted a range, r*****.

        There’s NetMarketShare, W3Counter, Wikimedia, etc. It’s not only Statcounter.

        AND you’re wrong again about adminstration cost/expense.

        @owl, do you know how to read a financial report???

        You mentioned salaries for engineers (you meant software engineer, right?), but they are NOT administration expense. Salaries for software engineers are Software Development expense, a PROGRAM expense & listed under program expense (see “Software Development” expense in the Consolidated Statement of Activities and Change in Net Assets).

        Administration expense are people like secretaries, accountants, etc., d****** (see “General and Administrative” expense in the Consolidated Statement of Activities and Change in Net Assets).

        Don’t comment on my post(s) unless you know what the hell you’re talking about.

      3. owl said on November 29, 2019 at 7:41 am
        Reply

        @notanon,
        My Comments are not the answer to you.
        That is why there is no “@notanon,” meaning reply.
        However, it were interesting “keywords”, so I added Comments.

        By the way, here is not a bulletin board for you. It is a place where anyone can express their opinions freely.
        You are overreacting. Should be calm.

  12. MartinFan said on November 27, 2019 at 2:10 am
    Reply

    I don’t know if they make money off of telemetry but I really wouldn’t mind sending Mozilla telemetry if it wasn’t for one thing. I have a monthly data cap so I try to save data any way I can.

    Until Mozilla and Microsoft say how much average monthly bandwidth is used for telemetry I will always try to turn it off If I can.

  13. anon said on November 27, 2019 at 2:54 pm
    Reply

    Get woke, go broke

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