Q: We hear about millions of free downloads. How does that equate to revenue? How many of the downloads sign up for a service subscription?
We dont see a direct connection there and we have never stated that there would be one. We think that the downloads are a demonstration of usage and momentum. But we do know that the vast majority will not lead to a paying customer.
Marten Mickos, MySQL CEO
We have enormous download numbers, but not all downloads give rise to a new production installation. Many downloads are to upgrade an existing one, many downloads are just for fun. Some people will download it twice because they didnt remember they did it yesterday.
Q: What percentage of free downloads turn into paying accounts?
I know some of the numbers but I dont disclose them. But we have roughly one thousand non-paying users for every paying customer. And I happen to know that the ratio is changing favorably. So we see the business side growing ever faster.
Every morning 50,000 people go to work for Oracle, and every morning 50,000 people go to download our software.
But that was expected. Because when you first launch a technology, you reach the pioneers and the open source people. Thats the first area you cover, and you get millions of people but you dont get millions of customers. Now were getting much stronger into the enterprise, where customers will pay upfront. They will say, Whatever I do, Ill pay you because I dont want to run the risk of being on my own.
In total, its about 50,000 downloads every single day. Its enormous. Recently its gone up and its higher.
[He compares that number of downloads to the number of employees at Oracle.] Oracle has 50,000 employees. Every morning 50,000 people go to work for Oracle, and every morning 50,000 people go to download our software. (Laughs) I didnt pay for them to do that.
Q: How has revenue growth been at MySQL AB? [The privately held company doesnt disclose revenue, but this report stated the company earned $12 million in 2003.]
It has been very encouraging. Weve grown over the last five years, on average, about 100 percent per year.
Q: Really, one hundred percent per year?
We started small. But we are the fastest growing database company on the planet.
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