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Mozilla wants you to pay $5 a month for its own version of Apple News+

Published Jul 5th, 2019 11:07PM EDT
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Mozilla seems poised to jump into the paid news aggregation game soon, with the nonprofit behind the Firefox browser now teasing a $5-per-month subscription product that would offer ad-free news while also undercutting by a few dollars the recently launched Apple News+. The latter being a still relatively new subscription product from the iPhone maker which, if you believe the latest string of reports, hasn’t exactly gotten off to a rousing start, with publishers anonymously complaining about the service not delivering much in the way of revenue yet.

Mozilla had said earlier this year that a partnership with the news subscription enterprise Scroll would be forthcoming, which is what seems to be coming soon. Mozilla is directing users to a survey that also includes invites to a beta launch of the company’s “Firefox Ad-free internet.” Scroll itself is still in beta, but the site says it offers ad-free versions of sites that include The Atlantic, Buzzfeed, The Verge, Gizmodo, USA Today and more.

This seems to be somewhat in line with what Apple offers via Apple News+, though the latter costs more ($9.99 a month, as opposed to Mozilla’s planned $4.99). The launch of this new subscription service also comes at a time when Mozilla is trying to diversify itself away from its main revenue stream — an arrangement with Google to make it Firefox’s default search engine.

Similar to what Apple is doing, with its increased emphasis on revenue-generating subscription offerings like Apple News+ and Apple Music, Mozilla’s leadership had been talking before now about using Firefox to start offering various subscription products. Here’s another that Mozilla is touting — a paid VPN subscription. That’s in addition to the $4.99 news service, which Mozilla says: “…enables web users to pay for an ad-free experience on their favorite sites, across their devices. By enabling more direct funding of publishers, Scroll’s model may offer a compelling alternative in the ecosystem.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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