Mar 24, 2020 - Economy & Business

Mozilla launches new initiative with Scroll to fund publishers

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.

Go deeper

Vox Media and Google launch "Concert Local" ad network

Illustration: Vox Media

Vox Media, the parent company to brands like The Verge, SB Nation, GrubStreet and more, is partnering with Google to create a local advertising network called "Concert Local."

By the numbers: While neither party would confirm the amount, it's understood that the investment is over $1 million.

Coronavirus dwarfs 2020 election content online

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

News around the coronavirus pandemic is creating a huge bump in overall traffic for media publishers.

By the numbers: The explosion in total web traffic is "likely due to the explosion of COVID-19 coverage and attention — as well as the fact that people were checking news/content sites with more frequency in this period," says Andrew Montalenti, Chief Product Officer at Parse.ly.

Scoop: Washington Post tripling investment in revenue technology Zeus

Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

The Washington Post is tripling investment in Zeus, its revenue technology arm, sources tell Axios. The Post licenses Zeus products to other media companies to help them drive more ad revenue and create better user experiences.

Why it matters: The ad tech ecosystem for publishers for so long has been dominated by tech companies that don't know a lot about journalism or media. Now, media companies are creating their own tech solutions to become less reliant on them.