Mozilla looks likely to be entering the premium browsing market later this year by offering a subscription-based (advert-free) browsing experience of selected journalism websites and other value-adding features via a special version of Firefox.
What’s The Problem?
Many news content websites rely on the revenue from adverts, but this can make for a distracting and annoying experience (adverts, pop-ups and auto-play videos) if you’re trying to browse the content on these websites. This means that many people choose to use ad blockers, but these deprive the news websites of the ad revenue that enables them to produce free, quality content.
Google, for example, has entered the premium browsing market, but in a way that some commentators believe could alienate free Chrome users and non-Enterprise-level paying users. This is because Google has chosen to eliminate ad-blockers in Chrome unless users upgrade G Suite premium services.
Mozilla’s Firefox – Partnering With Publishers
Mozilla’s premium solution, however, is to include more value-adding features for a premium browsing subscription rather than simply taking away a browser feature (ad blocker) and to find a way for online content publishers to still make their money. With the Firefox premium browsing deal, Mozilla is reported to have partnered with leading publishers so that Firefox’s premium service subscribers can access the content on key journalism websites, without being bothered by adverts, but with payments being made directly to the sites they read out of the revenue raised from subscriptions – a win/win.
The ad-free browsing deal will be available for desktop and mobile browsers, and it has been reported that a single monthly fee looks likely to cover ad-free browsing on all a subscriber’s devices. One value-adding feature for subscribers reported to be built-in to the premium browsing experience is a reading sync system (already available on Pocket) that will enable Firefox users to pick up articles where they left off, even on other devices.
It has also been reported that the Premium Firefox service could include bundled extra features (many of which are available as free add-ons now) such as audio versions of articles, a content discovery app and recommended reading selections.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
For so-called ‘power users’ who like/need to access journalistic content from popular platforms in a fast, convenient way, across multiple devices, this premium service bundle may be a small price to pay and may prove popular. Google’s Chrome may be the market leader, but Mozilla may gain some ground here with a more inclusive and less alienating offering to all users.
Content providing websites may also find this to be quite an appealing service because it removes the need for the dreaded ad blockers and enables them to still make the necessary money to keep providing the content.