Mozilla earlier this year partnered with news subscription service, ‘Scroll’, to test a subscription service that will allow users to experience an ad-free internet without hurting publishers. According to a Mozilla blog post from February 25, it hit upon the new idea because it wasn’t happy with the “terrible experiences and pervasive tracking” designed to persuade users to click on ads and share their personal data.
Several months after that announcement, the non-profit software firm is understood to have finally started split testing the service and, is inviting some users to sign-up for it by paying $4.99 (around Rs. 350) per month. As can be seen from the image shared by Redditor u/Darfeel, Mozilla says it will share its revenues from the service “directly with the sites you read”, enabling those blogs to keep creating great content without having to resort to annoying ads.
The service will also enable access to audio versions of articles where available, while bookmarks will also be synced across devices, enabling users to pickup from where they left off. While the partnership will Scroll will bring added revenues to Mozilla, it will also help balance the lopsided distribution of digital advertising revenue, most of which is going to a handful to big companies, endangering the very existence of many smaller publishers.
While the specifics of the service is yet to be detailed, Mozilla says that the initiative “will help shape our direction with respect to finding alternatives to the status quo advertising models. As always, we will continue to put users first and operate transparently as our explorations progress towards more concrete product plans”.