At a Critical Juncture, Mozilla Can Benefit from a Fresh Deal with Google
This month promises to be a momentous one for Mozilla, which has steadily been reengineering its company. We've reported on the many leadership changes at the company in recent months, and on the increased focus the company is putting on the Firefox OS mobile platform. We've also taken note of a brand new revenue model that the company is introducing by putting advertisements in the Firefox browser.
But it's still true that Mozilla gets more than 90 percent of its revenues from Google, which in turn gets favorable search placement. That deal is up for renewal this month, and we should hear soon whether the terms stay the same or not.
Google remains the default search service for millions of Firefox users as a result of ongoing deals that Mozilla has made with Google to subsidize it. Mozilla's expenses have grown with its business, and the Google subsidies have also grown over time, as we reported here.
November is traditionally when Mozilla and Google sit down at the deal renegoitiation table, and while Mozilla is not making any announcements yet, The Register notes the following:
"The pair's 2011 deal expires this month and Mozilla told The Reg it’s now in the middle of negotiations...A successful outcome is nothing less than critical to Mozilla’s survival."
That is indeed, true. Mozilla is at a critical juncture with Firefox's market share not growing at previously healthy rates, and increasing competition from Google itself via the Chrome browser. Mozilla is also focused on building out its Firefox OS mobile business, and Google subsidies could help that effort.
We'll keep listening for official news of any deal that may be struck in the coming weeks.