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How Does Google Maps Make Money (Business and Revenue Model)

The Google Maps business model

How Does Google Maps Make Money?
Here’s what you should know:
  • What is Google Maps, and how does Google Maps work?
  • How does Google Maps make money?
  • Advertising
  • Google Maps API (Google Maps Platform)
  • Google Maps profit and revenue
  • What is the Google Maps business and revenue model?

How does Google Maps make money if it’s free to use? Here is a full, in depth, breakdown of their two (2) revenue streams and the different products and services they offer, as well as the Google Maps business model, their year over year revenue, and how Google Maps works.

What is Google Maps, and how does Google Maps work?

Google Maps is a web mapping GPS navigation app offered by Google.

Google Maps was first developed as a desktop program by Lars Rasmussen and Jens Rasmussen at Where 2 Technologies in early 2003. Before later being acquired by Google in October 2004 for an undisclosed amount.

During that time, Google converted it into a web application and later launched it as Google Maps in 2005.

Since its 2005 release, Google Maps has since become one of the most downloaded and used navigational apps in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store that is being used by over one (1) billion people worldwide every month.

How does Google Maps work? To use Google Maps, users can either download the app on the Apple Store or Google Play; or by visiting google.com/maps.

Once there, they can use Maps to check real time traffic updates, street maps (including a 360° view of the streets), route planning for traveling by car, bike, foot, air, public transportation, and more.

Some of Google Maps’ competitors include Waze and other GPS navigation apps.

Google Maps App in Apple App Store | Google Maps Business Model | How Does Google Maps Make Money? | How Does Google Maps Work?
Source: Apple App Store | Google Maps

[ Related Article: How Does Google Make Over $258 Billion A Year? ]

How does Google Maps make money?

According to Google, there are more than one (1) billion people worldwide using Google Maps every month, and over five (5) million active apps and websites using Google Maps Platform, formally known as Google Maps API, with their core products every week.

So how does Google Maps make money off of all these users using their products?

Below is a breakdown of how much money Google Maps makes and its revenue model. Including all revenue streams and how much they charge for their services.

Here are the 2 ways of how Google Maps makes money (in 2022):

Google Maps has a business model that makes money in two (2) ways; advertising and Google Maps API (Google Maps Platform).

#1. Advertising

Google Maps makes money through advertising, which is one of Google’s many “properties” they advertise on. Along with Google Search, Youtube, Gmail, Google Play, AdMob, AdSense, and Google Ad Manager.

When combined, these platforms brought in a total of $209.5 billion in ad revenue for Google in 2021.

Google Maps Advertising Cost:

  • Google Ad’s average Cost Per Click (CPC) is $0.67, and the average Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) is $2.80 (as reported for 2021)
Google Maps Advertising Cost | Google Maps Business Model | How Does Google Maps Make Money? | How Does Google Maps Work?
Source: Google

Note: Google uses its own advertising platform, Google Ads, for advertisers who want to advertise on Google Maps.

[ Related Article: How Does YouTube Make Money? ]

#2. Google Maps API (Google Maps Platform)

Google Maps also makes money through its Google Maps API, now known as Google Maps Platform.

As noted above, over five (5) million active apps and websites use the Google Maps Platform with their core products every week. This includes some of their more notable customers like Redfin, Lyft, and Snapchat.

The Google Maps Platform currently has 17 different APIs which developers can access, which are organized under three (3) categories; Maps, Routes, and Places on the pricing page.

Google Maps Platform Pricing:

  • dynamic pricing (you can play around with the pricing here)
Google Maps Platform Pricing | Google Maps Business Model | How Does Google Maps Make Money? | How Does Google Maps Work?
Source: Google

Note: Google Maps Platform pricing is based on an À la carte business model.

Google Maps profit and revenue

While Google does not specifically mention how much money Google Maps makes by itself, we can narrow it down a bit by looking at the revenue segment on Google’s annual report where Google Maps makes its money in.

Google Maps is a part of (but does not make up entirely) Google’s “Google Cloud” segment on their annual report. Which, in 2021, generated $19.2 billion of Google’s total $257.63 billion in revenue.

Note: Because Alphabet Inc. (Google) is a publicly traded company, under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, they must file continuous financial filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). You can find all of Google’s publicly released financial reports, including annual reports, through Google’s investor section on their website.

What is the Google Maps business and revenue model?

Google Maps makes money through a few revenue models that they combine within their company, they are:

  • Advertising based business model
  • Subscription business model
  • Business to business (B2B) revenue model
  • À la carte revenue model
  • Mergers & acquisitions (M&A) business model