How Opera's business model works

In the Jon von Tetzchner Q&A we published yesterday, we had to leave out a bit of the interview because it didn't really go with the general flow of the widget-and-HTML 5-oriented discussion. The excised stuff was, however, extremely interesting - particularly what von Tetzchner had to say about the desktop/mobile user numbers, versus the desktop/mobile revenues.

In the Jon von Tetzchner Q&A we published yesterday, we had to leave out a bit of the interview because it didn't really go with the general flow of the widget-and-HTML 5-oriented discussion. The excised stuff was, however, extremely interesting - particularly what von Tetzchner had to say about the desktop/mobile user numbers, versus the desktop/mobile revenues. Here you go!

Q: What desktop share does Opera have at the moment, globally?
A: We have about 40 million users — active users. We have people checking of updates and that's when we count them. We also have 23 million Opera Mini users…

How many users of Opera Mobile?
We don't have numbers in the same way there. It's the default browser in KDDI's network. That will only be seen in Japan with KDDI, but it's not visible in statistics outside of Japan. You have quite a lot of [Opera users] on other devices like the Nintendo Wii and DSi, and on set-top boxes and the like. So, altogether, you can add quite a few million more Opera users. And this is only counting active users.

What's Opera's biggest cash cow?
We're generating revenue from everything, and we're having significant growth in everything. We have our desktop browser which continues to grow at a nice pace. Desktop users grew 67 percent last year — and revenue grew more than that — and 55 percent the year before.

Most of our revenue — 75-80 percent — comes from mobile devices, fom a free browser. We provide the browser for free, like Opera desktop and Mini, and then we generate revenue through our content partners. We provide the search in the right corner and things like that, and that generates revenues in the free distributions. Then you get paid by OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] for distribution — companies like Nokia and Motorola. Most of the mobile OEMs and a fair amount of the other OEMs. We signed up Ford recently and we're now in Ford trucks.

Then we have Opera Mini deals with the operators. This also applies to widgets, when they want us to provide a widget back-end in addition to the widget client. And we are being paid typically on an active user basis. We have multiple business models that allow us to adapt to our customers, whoever the customer is.