Video DownloadHelper is a Firefox plugin that allows you to download multimedia embedded in Flash files. For example, if there is an MP3 embedded in a Flash player, you will have the ability to download it and store it on your hard drive. It also allows you to download the FLV files that are embedded on YouTube to your hard drive, making it easy for you to download any video from there. It turns out that this plugin has been downloaded 85 million times so it has to make money, right? Right.
Video DownloadHelper was made by ACLAP, a company that is run by one person. The French software developer Michel Gutierrez made DownloadHelper and he believes it is the largest French made download in the world. Video DownloadHelper has been one of the top 2 plugins for Firefox over the past 3 years and it gets one download per second.
Gutierrez earns about $500,000 per year for the software with a 72% margin. The revenue comes from ads on his website, donations, and selling complementary video conversion software. He has not raised any outside funding for the software either.
Gutierrez isn’t just stopping at Video DownloadHelper either. He plans on building a plugin called SecretHelper, which allows you to hide videos downloaded by you from your family. And he is working on a plugin called CouponsHelper, which would display coupons automatically as you shop and various retailer websites.