The Mozilla Foundation, the people behind the Firefox browser have been teasing the internet with what sounds a lot like the reinvention of Google Contribute – The “pay to see less ads” service that morphed into Funding Choices.
The tease/announcement came as part of a build up to a subscription-based version of Firefox that is expected to be released later this year. Details are thin on the ground at the tease page, but the page promises that users can “Support the sites you love, avoid the ads you hate” for the princely sum of $4.99 a month. Clicking through to sign-up doesn’t actually let the user subscribe, but instead takes them to a survey asking for opinions without providing any detail or substance.
It’s currently rather unclear what the service aims to be. The title of the page promises an Ad-free internet and the body promises that “No matter how you find an article, Mozilla’s ad-free experience is there.”, yet it appears to be a service only running for publishers who “partner” with Firefox. A separate announcement suggests that this initiate could be run in conjunction with news aggregator Scroll who provide ad-free monetization to very small number of publishers. There is no mention of how an “ad-free internet” and revenue distributed to publishers beyond this very exclusive circle.
Our data suggests that Firefox already blocks 23% of ad revenue on desktop, so any further moves against publisher monetization would be a blow to publishers.