If you missed out on Opera’s tenth anniversary giveaway last month, don’t sweat it. Opera has now been made permanently free for download. I was curious how they plan to make money from this. There’s a ‘Why Free?’ link on the home page, which tells you this:
Opera has removed the banners, found within our browser, and the licensing fee. Opera’s growth, due to tremendous worldwide customer support, has made today’s milestone an achievable goal. Premium support is available.
That doesn’t sound like much of an answer. How does Opera plan to make money? The 2005 Second Quarter Financial Report spells things out a little more clearly.
- Opera signed an amendment to the existing development and licensing agreement with Motorola Inc. This is an important milestone for Opera Software
- Opera signed an agreement with a global player in the home media market. The agreement is on software licensing, and Opera Software receives a royalty fee per unit sold. Products are scheduled to be launched early 2006. Opera Software will receive an initial payment in 2005 of 850.000 Euros
Desktop income comes from several sources. Search-related income continued to grow in 2Q05, and is expected to continue to do so. Desktop license income, however, was lower than expected despite the positive reaction to the launch of Opera 8.0.
The positive trend in number of active users has not resulted in an increase in the sale of desktop licenses as expected. Opera is working on alternative business models in order to increase the market share and secure continued revenue growth within the desktop area.
So, in short, make money off mobile phones, desktop sets, and search, and just give the browser away to increase the brand, since it wasn’t selling anyway. Hope this works for them. Opera is quite a nice browser.