Mar 24, 2020 - Economy & Business

Mozilla launches new initiative with Scroll to fund publishers

An illustration of a cell phone with an umbrella.
Photo: Scroll

Firefox, the global web browser from Mozilla, is launching a new subscription product Tuesday called the "Firefox Better Web initiative," and it will feature former Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile's new product Scroll as a launch partner.

Why it matters: It's uncommon for a web browser to launch a product that's explicitly tied to paying out publishers. Scroll's business is all about paying publishers for their content while giving users a better ad experience.

Details: The test pilot for the product, which is a subscription to a privacy-first Firefox extension, will only be available in the U.S. The money from a membership ($4.99 monthly, $2,49 for first six months) goes directly to fund publishers and writers.

  • "Firefox is going to be going out to its users and offering to them, for the first time, an enhanced product where a browser is allowing publishers to get funded," says Haile. "We want to see where this takes us."
  • "We needed to come up with a solution that makes the user experience ideal, but also is sustainable so that publishers can continue making amazing content because that's better for the user in the long run," says Matt Grimes, head of Firefox Product Innovation.

The bigger trend ... Firefox has championed efforts around mission-based browsing, or providing users with a browsing experience that has a bigger goal than just providing search results in mind — whether that be privacy, or supporting publishers.

  • Other browser extensions, like DuckDuckGo, have launched with similar privacy principles in mind.
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