clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Mozilla teases $5-per-month ad-free news subscription

New, 11 comments

Mozilla has started teasing an ad-free news subscription service, which, for $5 per month, would offer ad-free browsing, audio readouts, and cross-platform syncing of news articles from a number of websites.

It’s not clear when the service will launch or if any of these details are final. For now, Mozilla is just running a survey that seems to be gauging interest. Mozilla previously mentioned plans to launch subscriptions and a partnership with an ad-free news startup, so it seems like something close to this offering is on the way.

Mozilla appears to be working with Scroll, a news subscription startup, to offer this service. Scroll is still in beta and doesn’t have open sign-ups yet, but the company says it offers ad-free access to a variety of websites, including BuzzFeed, Slate, Gizmodo Media Group properties, and Vox Media sites (which — disclosure — includes The Verge).

The service comes not long after Apple began attempting a similar subscription service on a much larger scale. Apple News Plus offers access to a wide variety of magazines as well as a few newspapers and online properties (including Vox) for $10 per month. Apple’s service isn’t as heavy on news as Scroll’s appears to be. And while Apple has enormous reach, it sounds as though adoption has been slow, potentially leaving room for another offering.

Last month, Mozilla’s CEO said the company intended to start offering subscription services inside of Firefox this October. Mozilla has already been testing one such offering since last year — for a VPN service — and now, it looks like we have an idea of what comes next.

Another teaser website from Mozilla suggests the existing VPN service will be rebranded as “Firefox Private Network” and offered for either $5, $10, or $13 per month. There are multiple websites advertising the VPN service, which suggests that the ad-free news pricing may not be final (though I was only able to find a single website advertising it, at the $5-per-month price, for now).

Mozilla largely makes money through a deal with Google to be the default search engine in Firefox. The company is increasingly interested in diversifying where its money comes in, though, which makes plenty of sense given how direct of a competitor Google is in the browser market. Firefox’s leader said last month that the company will be able to offer paid features “without compromising” the browser’s core offerings.