Mozilla plans to start offering a subscription service inside of Firefox that offers access to “premium” features like a VPN service or cloud storage. It’s still unclear exactly what the service will offer, but Mozilla CEO Chris Beard mentioned both a VPN service and cloud storage in an interview with t3n. Mozilla intends to begin offering subscriptions starting in October.
The details are all a little vague for now — it’s not clear if this will be a single subscription service offering multiple features, or if these will be separate subscription services. But at least one subscription option is confirmed to be on the way.
Mozilla started testing a subscription VPN offering last October. It was presented as a test, though, and was only made available to a small group of users. Those who were presented with the option were able to subscribe through Firefox, paying $10 per month for access to ProtonVPN.
The goal for Mozilla is to develop “diverse sources of revenue” so that it isn’t so heavily reliant on money it receives from search companies that pay to be featured in the browser. Much of that money comes from a direct competitor in the browser market — Google — so it makes sense that Mozilla would want to build out a new way to make money.
Mozilla says that it won’t charge for any existing Firefox features as part of its shift to offering subscription services. Instead, it’s just using the fact that its browser is already present on a huge number of computers to sell added services to people, who by and large aren’t currently paying the company at all.
“A high-performing, free and private-by-default Firefox browser will continue to be central to our core service offerings,” Dave Camp, senior vice president of Firefox, said in a statement. Camp said that Firefox can serve users who are interested in premium features “without compromising the development and reach of the existing products and services.”