In a recent poll, in which we had to limit ourselves to just one mobile app, Internet browsers received the first preference over others. These humble software applications are usually taken for granted, despite their huge contribution to the revitalization of the Internet.
Considering they provide a free service, how do these browsers make money at all? We usually assume “ad money”, but this is only a fraction of the total revenue. Here, we explore several popular browsers and their unique approaches to generating revenue.
1. Mozilla Firefox
It should come as no surprise that the Mozilla Foundation no longer operates as a non-profit organization. According to the latest financial report, the company earned $ 562 million in 2017. Of these, 96 percent. or $ 539 million in search engine royalties.
Once again, Mozilla has subscribed to Google as the default search engine in Firefox Quantum. Although they will not disclose the exact share of the proceeds, it is safe to assume that this deal is very important to them. You'd think that Google practically owns Mozilla Firefox, although chances are it won't renew the deal in November 2020. But with Firefox users surfing the web over 100 billion times a year, it's unlikely that Google will pull the ground out of them. …
That doesn't stop Google from bothering Firefox users, however, as both browsers are still competing in the same market. In one example, as shown in this tweet, a user noticed that Google Flights was blocked in the Firefox Android app.
To be honest, Mozilla has ties to Yandex in Russia and Baidu in China, which are more important than Google in these countries. It is also trying to diversify with Firefox Pockets and user-centric advertising and even selling ad impressions.
Similar to Firefox's revenue model, Safari receives royalties from search engines, especially Google. Except that in the case of Safari, they have more options than Firefox, given that Google recently paid them $ 12 billion to continue using it as their default search engine. With hundreds of millions of iPhone and Mac users, Apple can continue to forge a good relationship with Google year after year, making Safari the richest browser after Chrome.
3. Microsoft Edge
As with Google Adwords, the bulk of Microsoft Edge's revenue comes from the Bing search engine. However, with a market share of 4% that is unlikely to increase anytime soon, it has a harder time catching up with Chrome. What's more, Bing's ad revenue dropped 7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, which means the era of stagnation is far from over. Even though Microsoft deems it impossible to beat Google at its own game, its only hope is to continue to reward users with gifts and coupons for using Bing and Edge.
One of the most humble browsers in terms of reach, Opera seems to have perfected its knowledge of how to use the browser effectively. With 182 million active users worldwide, Opera is seeing annual revenue growth of 28 to 34 percent. While it shares Firefox's revenue model of partnering with search engines (Yandex in Russia, Baidu in China, Google everywhere), there are other methods that deserve mention.
First, Opera has licensing agreements with many websites such as Booking.com and Ebay. It also has device-level agreements with smartphone manufacturers such as Oppo and Xiaomi, in which Opera is the primary browser in the dock. He also focuses on artificial intelligence-based content detection technologies.
The Brave browser prides itself on its privacy, security, and speed. With ad blockers and a zero log policy, this is a great browser to use. However, they also need to make money. To do this, they use a cryptocurrency they call Basic Attention Tokens (BAT). As with Microsoft Rewards, BAT units are paid to the user for using the service. They also have ties to HTC Exodus, the first blockchain phone. Brave works with trusted publishers on YouTube and Twitch as an additional source of income.
We saw that each browser has its own income strategies, and they are all very different from the others. We did not mention Google Chrome on this list because of its dual advantage as Google's vehicle for generating search ad revenue. This unique position makes him a formidable player that leaves everyone behind. Due to its huge ad revenue, Google doesn't need the interesting techniques used in other browsers. What do you think is the best way for browsers to make money? Let us know in the comments.