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Mozilla's revenue jumped to 828 million U.S. Dollar in 2019

Mozilla Foundation and Subsidiaries published the annual Independent Auditor's Report and Consolidated Financial Statements today. The report reveals that Mozilla earned a total of 828 million U.S. Dollar in 2019, nearly double the revenue of 2018.

Mozilla's revenue dropped in 2018 to 450 million U.S. Dollar from 562 million in 2017.  The organization changed the search deal model that it used throughout the years to a flexible "per-region" one. It dropped Yahoo as the search provider and signed deals with Google, Baidu and Yandex in the same year.

The deals make up a large part of Mozilla's annual income: it was 539 million in 2017 and 429 million U.S. Dollar in 2018. Royalties from search deals increased to 451 million in 2019 according to the financial report.

mozilla revenue 2019 expenses

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The huge increase in revenue comes from a position that is listed as "other revenue" in the financial statement. The sum of 338 million U.S. Dollar is not further explained in the document but the most likely explanation for it is the organization's legal dispute with Yahoo over the premature ending of the search deal.

Yahoo took Mozilla to court, and Mozilla decided to countersue for 375 million U.S. Dollar, a sum that is very close to the 338 listed under "other revenue".

Mozilla's dependence on search deals, in particular the deal with Google, is still very high. Google was the source of 73% of the search engine deal revenue in 2019, a drop by 2% when compared to 2018. Search engine deals make up 88% of Mozilla's revenue, a drop of 3% when compared to 2018.

Pocket premium subscriptions and advertising revenue jumped to 14 million U.S. Dollar from 5.3 million a year before.  The VPN service that Mozilla launched in 2018 should not have played a major role revenue-wise in 2018; it remains to be seen how much of a contribution it will make in 2019 as it was launched in the year in several countries.

Expenses rose from 451 million U.S. Dollar to 495 million with software development and "general and administrative" seeing increases by 26 million and 38 million U.S. Dollar respectively.

Outlook

Mozilla renewed its search deal with Google in 2020 for three years. The organization will receive an estimate of $400 to $450 million per year from the deal alone. The contract has not been published and the modalities have not been revealed by Mozilla or Google.

The organization let go a total of 320 employees in 2020 (70 in January and 250 in August, and retired several products including Firefox Send and Notes because it expected the coming years to be tougher financial-wise.

Revenue will likely remain on a similar level if you subtract the one-time payment of 2019. The premium VPN service will increase the organization's subscription and advertising revenue further, but the bulk will still come from search engine deals even though the percentage may drop by several percent again.

The letting-go of 320 employees will have an impact on the organization's payment of wages, but it is possible that Mozilla is expecting other expenses to rise in 2020 and beyond.

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Mozilla's revenue jumped to 828 million U.S. Dollar in 2019
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Mozilla's revenue jumped to 828 million U.S. Dollar in 2019
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Mozilla Foundation and Subsidiaries published the annual Independent Auditor's Report and Consolidated Financial Statements today.
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Comments

  1. Iron Heart said on December 10, 2020 at 12:01 pm
    Reply

    > Mozilla renewed its search deal with Google in 2020 for three years. The organization will receive an estimate of $400 to $450 million per year from the deal alone. The contract has not been published and the modalities have not been revealed by Mozilla or Google.

    It’s abundantly clear from these figures that Google wants Mozilla to survive. By no means is their default search option worth $400 million, because:

    – Firefox’s market share is low, sitting at around 4% desktop + mobile combined.
    – Most people would switch their search engine back to Google anyway, if Mozilla were using something like Bing or Yahoo as default.

    Google keeps a pseudo-competitor around in case of any antitrust scrutiny. Having the option to point at the de facto Google side venture Mozilla is certainly worth that amount. I have been saying this for a long time here, people thinking they fight Google by using Firefox are foolish because of this.

    > The premium VPN service will increase the organization’s subscription and advertising revenue further (…)

    If you want that VPN, just buy a Mullvad plan directly at Mullvad. Mullvad is 100% operating the Mozilla VPN anyway, so by buying Mullvad directly, you do not reward the Mozillian leeches putting their own brand on something they haven’t developed, even though they could.

    1. Passing Through said on December 10, 2020 at 8:41 pm
      Reply

      Note that Google pays Apple between 8-12 billion dollars a year to be the default search on iOS so roughly 20-25x what they pay Mozilla and according to https://data.firefox.com/dashboard/user-activity Firefox has around 220M active users (monthly). Looking at it from this perspective the deal is around the price one would expect (keeping in mind iOS users are generally higher valued to higher average income).

      1. Iron Heart said on December 10, 2020 at 11:24 pm
        Reply

        @Passing Through

        Apple’s existence doesn’t depend on that deal. Safari could still be developed even if Google wouldn’t pay Apple a dime. Apple’s business is – primarily – to sell hardware and attached services and apps. They get to choose the default search provider on the hardware they sell (their sales are not dependent on the default search engine I assume). Safari also still has more market share than Firefox, meaning that they could somewhat increase the market share of Google’s competitors, I mean the users who never switch the default search engine here.

        Mozilla couldn’t even exist without the Google money (their business model is to sell search traffic to the highest bidder = default search provider). Whether or not Bing (MS) or Yahoo would step up is questionable at least, seeing how most people would switch the search engine back to Google anyway, casting doubt on any potential investment into Mozilla on their part. Firefox’s low market share also means that no significant gains are to be made here even if a miracle happens and most FF users (usually above average tech-savvy) don’t change the default search engine.
        Mozilla is a “competitor” of Google that is fully under Google’s thumb from a financial point of view, and has little to nothing to offer for Google’s competitors. Not the case for Apple / Safari.

    2. Steve said on December 15, 2020 at 1:02 pm
      Reply

      I do not understand all the points made here. I mean, think about it. Isn’t Firefox an open source project? Then if Mozilla, Mozilla Corp, Mozilla Foundation, Mozillass, Morezilla, all of them die, it is a matter of someone continuing Firefox, like several projects already do (Tor Browser, WaterFox, PaleMoon, etc.)

      1. Iron Heart said on December 15, 2020 at 6:28 pm
        Reply

        @Steve

        Firefox is open source, but the main contributors to the code are all full time employees of Mozilla, i.e. they are paid developers. Developing Firefox costs $300 – $400 million per year. Volunteers do contribute, but it’s nowhere near enough to maintain the codebase.

        If Mozilla goes away (i.e. goes bankrupt or focuses on different things), some big company would have to step up in order to “save” Firefox. But, who would do that? Chromium is open source as well, is better supported by web devs, and from what I hear is also easier to maintain… If you could use Chromium, why would you possibly adopt Firefox, if not for pure idealism?

        Waterfox and Pale Moon as projects would die soon after Firefox, since they need Mozilla’s patches in order to survive, only tiny fractions of the code of Waterfox or Pale Moon come from the maintainers of these browsers, most by far comes from Mozilla. No Mozilla, no further development (unless someone big steps up, which, as said, is unlikely).

        Tor Browser is an interesting case in that the U.S. secret services also use it internally, so if Mozilla goes away, I suppose the government would fund and / or assist in creating a Chromium-based Tor Browser (which is entirely possible after a range of known blocking bugs are resolved).

      2. Steve said on December 16, 2020 at 2:05 pm
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        @Iron Heart

        I see, but I guess the real problem here is not Mozilla awful management good-for-nothing team and devs that play along with them, it is that they (i.e. all, good, bad devs, etc.) are getting a lot of juice there (burning a million a day.) Otherwise, it will be wise to have some balls and instead of waiting to be lay off just go and fund Not Mozilla Corp and make the better Firefox we all deserve.

  2. Tom Hawack said on December 10, 2020 at 12:32 pm
    Reply

    Quoting the article, “Mozilla’s dependence on search deals, in particular the deal with Google, is still very high.”. I’m afraid it’s bound to remain as such.

    “I know. But if some bad guy paid me to do some good things, I would consider myself a good person, not a bad one.” among other interesting comments on ‘Firefox over Chrome : firefox’ at [https://teddit.net/r/firefox/comments/k9rd69/firefox_over_chrome/]. (Replace teddit.net by reddit.com if you prefer).

    Mozilla’s revenue jumped to USD 828 million with the help of the one-time UDS 375 million lawsuit payment. Thank you, Yahoo! One-time, unfortunately.

    If all Firefox users contributed how much would that lead to?

    1. Iron Heart said on December 10, 2020 at 1:34 pm
      Reply

      @Tom Hawack

      > If all Firefox users contributed how much would that lead to?

      Obligatory addendum: Donations to Mozilla go to the Mozilla Foundation, not to the Mozilla Corporation that is actually in charge of Firefox development:

      https://old.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/a98gmi/donations_to_mozilla_foundation_are_not_used_for/

      If one donates to “Mozilla”, donations will be used for virtue signaling projects Mozilla in turn supports, instead of Firefox development. You know this, but – as always – fail to mention it. Color me surprised.

      > “I know. But if some bad guy paid me to do some good things, I would consider myself a good person, not a bad one.” among other interesting comments on ‘Firefox over Chrome : firefox’ at

      What a joke, the sole reason Google pays Mozilla is to avoid antitrust scrutiny, NOT because they are good people acting out of the kindness of their hearts. I am saying this all the time, it’s also in the same thread:

      https://old.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/k9rd69/firefox_over_chrome/gf8w6eg/
      https://old.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/k9rd69/firefox_over_chrome/gf623o8/

      Firefox having a few scraps of the market under its belt means that the de facto Google monopoly will continue forever, just like we are stuck with the de facto Windows monopoly thanks to Linux and macOS (which are equally irrelevant in the overall desktop market).

      1. Tom Hawack said on December 10, 2020 at 3:18 pm
        Reply

        I’ll be more lucid — or honest — than ‘Iron Heart’ when I state that it’s not always but often that he/she picks up on people to enforce a statement : “You know this, but – as always – fail to mention it.”. Really? So I hide some of my thoughts? To be frank I do, and when it comes to my opinion regarding one or another fortunately I do. Not otherwise. I’ll continue avoiding whatever debate with such uneducated personages.

      2. Iron Heart said on December 10, 2020 at 4:11 pm
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack

        You know damn well that donations to Mozilla are NOT being used for Firefox development, yet you seem to suggest that user donations could help Mozilla getting away from Google dependency. This is highly dishonest, and fortunately I am educated enough to see through it easily. Your aggressive demeanor is just laughable.

        I don’t even care about your opinion of me, if anything I consider your disagreement on most things to be a knightly accolade.

        Iron Heart’s sources 1 – 0 Tom Hawack’s misinformation

  3. Anonymous said on December 10, 2020 at 1:28 pm
    Reply

    Unbelievable. This has to be the only company that actually has massively increasing net profit despite decreasing userbase. Laying off hundreds of employees while getting >300 million dollars without any compensation is slap in the face of everyone laid off.

  4. Anonymous said on December 10, 2020 at 1:31 pm
    Reply
  5. ShintoPlasm said on December 10, 2020 at 4:17 pm
    Reply

    How the eff does a browser maker have expenses of 500 million dollar??

    1. Iron Heart said on December 10, 2020 at 11:14 pm
      Reply

      @ShintoPlasm

      Mozilla has a huge overhead in administration expenses, look here for more info:

      http://calpaterson.com/mozilla.html

      Also useless side quests that never bore any fruit, Firefox OS and similar failed projects come to mind.

  6. VioletMoon said on December 10, 2020 at 5:18 pm
    Reply

    It’s good; I’m glad Firefox is still around and has made deals with companies to ensure their future financial success.

    But . . . “letting-go of 320 employees will have an impact on . . .” more than one or two items. That’s a large number of employees to eliminate; many of those employees, regardless of position, contribute to the economy that helps Firefox and all other companies thrive.

    One may research or “fact check,” but all the business models and economic studies I’ve read indicate the most important assets of any company are the employees.

    The last place to cut costs is in dismemberment of the working class. That’s the class companies rely on to purchase goods and services. If anything, increase the wages and benefits of employees. That’s true economic stimulus.

    1. Allwynd said on December 11, 2020 at 2:00 pm
      Reply

      Hopefully they will let go of more employees (I don’t wish people to lose their jobs), which will cripple work on the browser to the point where they start releasing very buggy updates and hopefully it will drive more people away from that steaming pile of trash.

      Firefox only got worse with the years and it keeps getting more and more worse. If that was not the case, I’d still be using it.

  7. [email protected] said on December 10, 2020 at 11:09 pm
    Reply

    With this astronomical amount of money Firefox should have no backlog of bugs!

    1. VioletMoon said on December 12, 2020 at 1:27 am
      Reply

      Seriously! Anyone who think $400,000 and a one time payment of $400,000 is an astronomical amount of money isn’t living in America or running a business. Needless to say, if that’s all one has in a retirement account, better hope you die soon because $800,000 is a pittance.

  8. Cor Invictus said on December 11, 2020 at 12:23 am
    Reply

    The more people migrate from Fossilfox to something else, the less reasons for Google to pick them up again to shield their a** next time.
    But that’s very unlikely to happen in this century, considering the stupidity and complacency of the masses. I’d rather see that sjw/commie/antifa/soros s**t disappear from internet, but the oblivious majority sees them as some kind of noble establishment fighter because it buys their flashy bs propaganda e.g. “Unfck the internet”, and other similarly vomitous crap.
    Dumb people are of a equally great value to both Goolag and Fossilla.
    Cheers!

    1. Kent Brockman said on December 11, 2020 at 10:14 pm
      Reply

      Take care that you don’t get some of that “vomitous crap” on you while typing. LOL

    2. ULBoom said on December 13, 2020 at 4:22 am
      Reply

      It’s about money. The online world, especially social media has made it much easier to find and combine fringe groups into larger peer pressure driven monsters that are sooooo easy to sucker into giving money to fight fabricated demons and imaginary issues.

      If there’s an average, there’s a group above and one below. Seems like the gullibility distribution is not gaussian, more like a poisson curve with the hump on the dumb shit side.

      When Someone running a death cult who has been voted out of office and their PAC is still collecting $50 million a week from terrified/mad donors who Someone couldn’t care less about…

      If I believe it, it’s right. The goal of all good trolls. Gimme some money! :)

  9. Anonymous said on December 11, 2020 at 9:33 pm
    Reply

    money talks.

    The only thing that keeps me from switching to chromium from firefox is that chromium profiles are not portable. If you change pc with a chromium profile (folder) or reinstall windows it will reset the chromium user profile. will have to reinstall all addons again.

    the chromium based web browsers are not portable. they fingerprint & tie the current OS installation to the profile. if u change, your profile will be reseted.

    1. Iron Heart said on December 12, 2020 at 9:08 am
      Reply

      @Anonymous

      According to this page, Ungoogled Chromium and Brave are both available as portable versions:

      https://portapps.io/apps/

      Is there something wrong with them? Genuinely curious here, I know little to nothing about portable software.

      1. Anonymous said on December 17, 2020 at 12:23 am
        Reply

        @Iron Heart
        Thanks mate!
        https://portapps.io/app/ungoogled-chromium-portable/#modifications

        –disable-machine-id –disable-encryption-win –disable-logging

  10. ULBoom said on December 13, 2020 at 4:40 am
    Reply

    Good.

    Comparing Mozilla’s business strategies to Google’s is loopy; no reason at all to get het up about either. Do some math; if you’re good at decimal places, the differences among any similar financial measures between Google and Mozilla fit the correct definition of disparate, so many zeros.

    Chrome’s available in Applelandia, ‘cept it’s not Chrome, just looks like it…

  11. Anonymous said on December 15, 2020 at 12:08 am
    Reply

    When we explain that Mozilla is Google’s whore, often they reply once we had a main search deal with Yahoo instead, so we’re not ! Not that it matters a lot considering that Yahoo is hardly better than Google, but let’s establish that it’s not even a valid argument.

    Yahoo paid them a lot to be the main search engine for a given duration. Yahoo was then bought which cancelled the deal due to a specific clause in the contract, meaning they had to pay for the whole duration but without being the default engine for that duration. So it’s like Google used Mozilla to screw Yahoo very hard at the end, not comforting at all the idea that Mozilla was polyamorous here. And now apparently Mozilla even counter-sued Yahoo to, for some reason, successfully milk even more money from Google’s competitor after already screwing them once ! Hilarious.

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