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.
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.
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.
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.