While Mozilla continues to give away its open source products for free, including the Firefox web browser, it is still generating growing revenues. Mozilla's newly published 2014 financial statements show that the open source software group made more money than ever before in 2014, though 2015 will be a year of challenges.
For 2014, Mozilla reported consolidated revenue of $329.5 million up from $314 million in 2013. Mozilla first began to publicly disclose its financial status for its fiscal 2005 year, at the time bringing in $52.9 million in revenue. Over the last decade, Mozilla has steadily grown its revenue, doubling the 2005 figure, by 2009 up to $104 million. By 2012, Mozilla's revenues topped $300 million coming in at $311 million, though revenue growth in the last three years shows signs of slowing. Mozilla's 2013 revenue was flat over 2012, up only marginally to $314 million.
For the last decade, Mozilla's primary source of revenue has been the same - a search deal with Google. From a financial statement perspective, the single largest source of revenue for Mozilla comes from a category that is identified on its audited financial statements as 'royalties'. For 2014, Mozilla generated $323.3 million in royalties, up from $306.1 million in 2013.
"Mozilla receives royalty income from contracts with various search engine and information providers," Mozilla's audited financial statements explain. "Revenue from these contracts is determined by the search and information providers based upon end user activity or as contractually agreed to."
The deal with Google expired in November 2014. Mozilla replaced Google with new search agreements with Yahoo, Yandex, and Baidu. As such, revenue from the new deal is not yet fully represented in Mozilla's financial statements and won't be until it reports on its fiscal 2015 financial results in 2016.
"Our agreements with search engines Yahoo, Yandex, and Baidu represent our largest source of income and provide us with much of the stability, independence and flexibility we need to pursue our mission on a global scale," Mozilla stated. "We will continue to invest in these and other partnerships that allow us to expand our impact on the world."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Datamation and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist