Skift Take

Kayak doesn't have to disclose mobile revenue and wouldn't unless it paints an upbeat picture, which it does.

While investors are worried that Facebook won’t be able to adequately monetize its gains in mobile, Kayak for the first time revealed some mobile revenue numbers, outlining a growth scenario.

In its first earnings report as a public company today, Kayak disclosed that its estimated revenue per 1,000 mobile queries (RPMs) reached $46 in the second quarter, up from $33 in the second quarter of 2011.

Kayak CFO Melissa Reitter, speaking during the second quarter earnings call, indicated that the increase in mobile RPMs was driven by a higher percentage of completed transactions, especially for hotels, and the addition of new advertising products.

And, Kayak’s mobile queries during the quarter increased 95% to 57 million.

Thus, Kayak is growing its mobile queries and increasingly monetizing them, as well.

Other online businesses relatively mum on mobile

Few, if any, online companies, in travel and outside it, disclose their mobile revenue, or RPMs (revenue per thousand mobile queries).

In the second quarter, for example:

  • Facebook disclosed that its monthly active users on mobile increased 67% to 543 million;
  • TripAdvisor indicated that its monthly unique visitors by mobile increased to 27 million, and
  • Yelp revealed that its mobile apps were used on 7.2 million unique mobile devices on a monthly avergage during the quarter.

But Facebook, TripAdvisor and Yelp provided no detailed look into their mobile revenue or RPMs.

In fact, although Facebook’s mobile users are acclerating their growth, one of the concerns during the IPO process and subsequently as its stock price plummeted is that Facebook won’t be able to adequately monetize mobile.

Since Kayak predominately transfers users to suppliers and online travel agency sites for bookings, its RPM numbers are an estimate.

“Mobile RPM figures are Kayak’s best estimation of revenue per thousand mobile queries based on data provided by those travel partners that delineate between mobile and website travel bookings,” Kayak states.

Kayak CEO Steve Hafner told financial analysts that the company’s mobile downloads during the quarter increased 40% to 2.3 million.

“We believe we are leaders in mobile travel,” Hafner said, pointing to the popularity of the company’s apps.

“We believe our mobile users are even more loyal to Kayak than our desktop users,” Hafner said.

For the second quarter, Kayak net income rose 93% to $7.3 million on $76.9% in revenue, a 36% increase over the second quarter of 2011.

KAYAK Q2 2012 Earnings Presentation


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Tags: apps, facebook, kayak

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