Mozilla wants feedback on "Firefox Ad-free"

Mozilla is teasing a product called “Firefox Ad-free”, which then - surprise - doesnt exist and leads to some feedback forms instead:

Apparently the idea is to have a paid premium subscription (the teaser price is 4,99$/month) which gives you ad-free access to select websites and also makes Mozilla less financially dependent from the likes of Google.

I think the idea is not bad, but I don’t trust Mozilla enough to expect they could get this right. They would have to partner with literally thousands of websites to make this offer interesting, and 4,99/month is probably way too low. There are websites out there which charge that much or more than that just for their own content alone.

Also I’m all for having a well-funded entity which maintains a good free, open source, secure, safe, privacy-aware browser - but in my book Mozilla is not that entity anymore. Many crappy decisions they’ve made had nothing to do with money.

Which is why they’d use Scroll to do the heavy lifting.

Which could also mean that they would be willing to break certain ad blocking extensions for everyone else to get more people into their subscription model.

It also opens the door to Mozilla giving in to the temptation to earn extra revenue by, similar to adblock plus, allowing ads through from advertisers willing to pay them…

But Scroll only has partnerships with a couple of mostly US-centric media outlets. And Apple News Plus, which just gives you access to PDF versions of about 300 mostly US-centric magazines, is already 10 US-$/month.

So I don’t really see how Mozilla could come up with an offer which is actually interesting for a significant share of their users. Their market share in the US is much lower than in many European countries, partnering with Scroll wouldn’t help most of their users much. 4,99 US-$/month is probably way too low to cover enough websites on a global scale to be interesting.

Maybe partner with more than one service, and then offer regional packages?

…Chrome basically already did that.

They’re definitely throwing a huge part of their ideals over board on the search for a new business model. They’ve already been caught serving ads as part of the browser UI itself and I guess their existing services - Pocket, Lockwise and Send - could easily be extended with ads and premium subscriptions.

That’s probably the whole strategy. Get people to sign up for a Firefox Account, add as many useful services as possibly to the “Firefox” umbrella, and then start offering subscription packages for multiple services.

Concur. It’s kind of like what they are doing out here in the Washington DC Metro area. Local governments were not happy with earning the tax revenue off of existing interstates, so they create what they call HOT lanes, which are toll lanes that uses your easypass. When you are in the lanes (and there are only certain places you can get on and off), if something untoward happens in the main lanes, they can raise the prices of the tolls on the fly. Since you are stuck in the lanes, you have no choice but to pay for it.

That is the business model I feel Mozilla is leaning toward. Get people into a inexpensive subscription, then nickel and dime them to death with small “incremental” improvements. And in the meantime, break existing functionality in order to sell the value adds.

They already did it when they broke every add-on in the transition to firefox-60 or so. The big jump to Quantum, was it? Broke everything, including password managers and the like, until the plugin makers scrambled to catch up.

It seems, from where I’m sitting, that the folks at mozilla have abandoned their defense of opensource and the users in favor of being another money-grubbing corporate entity.

Too harsh?

Sounds a bit like the idea the Brave browser used.
I would be more than happy to pay a fee to have all the tracking and advertising removed.

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