The future of the internet may lie in premium web-browsing services, and it looks like Mozilla could be handling that shift better than Google.
As we reported earlier, Google’s recent move to block ad-blockers in Chrome, save for G Suite Enterprise subscribers, indicated an overall push for “pay-for-play” web browsing. And while the move was understandable given the fact that ad revenue is a cornerstone source of income for the technology company, the move to eliminate ad-blockers in Chrome is an apparent attempt to encourage free Chrome users to upgrade to the highest level of G Suite premium services. This seems like the wrong way to increase subscription revenue for Google, especially since the move to block ad-blocking in Chrome seems to alienate free Chrome users and non-Enterprise-level paying users.
But Mozilla could be joining the premium browsing trend with a decidedly better, less alienating strategy: Instead of taking away a beloved browsing feature to encourage subscription enrollments, Mozilla is planning on offering a few additional features to be included with its future premium browsing services.
In fact, as CNET notes, Mozilla also plans to allow free Firefox browser users continued free access to the current slate of browsing services they use now. Mozilla’s move toward adding premium browsing services was revealed in a recently published interview of Mozilla CEO Chris Beard by t3n, a German magazine.
In t3n’s interview, Beard offered up a few details about what a Firefox premium service would look like and mentioned that it could include services such as VPN bandwidth access or “something like a secure storage solution.” The interview doesn’t seem to have further details on the storage solution, but according to a translation of the interview, Beard did describe a possible version of a premium VPN service:
“We have tested also VPN. We can determine if you’re in a public Wi-Fi and do online banking and say: ‘Wow, you should really use VPN.’ You can imagine that we will offer a solution, for which we give everyone a certain amount of free VPN bandwidth and offer then a premium level via a monthly subscription.”
Beard also emphasized Mozilla’s stance on not taking any current free services away from free Firefox users, even when the premium subscriptions roll out: “Now, we still want to make it clear: There is no plan to demand money which is now free of charge for things. So, we will roll out a subscription service and offer a premium level,” he said
The interview went on to say that Mozilla’s first premium browsing plan may be introduced in October.