It has been reported that Mozilla will be introducing a (paid for) premium subscription-based Firefox service this October to run alongside the free, open-source Firefox browser.
Mozilla’s share of the (free) browser market has been squeezed by some heavy competition from Google’s Chrome browser and although the Firefox browser is present on many computers and is used to sell people services, it isn’t actually making Mozilla any money. Also, Mozilla relies heavily on revenue that it receives from search companies that pay to be featured in the Firefox browser, with much of that money coming from its competitor Google. Mozilla, therefore, is looking to diversify and find a way to build its own additional independent revenue stream from the bundling of value-adding services that it already has.
Reports indicate that the new paid for bundled service could include:
- VPN bandwidth that exceeds what’s available (free) via Mozilla’s ProtonMail VPN partnership i.e. giving paying customers for its new service access to a premium level VPN bandwidth.
- An as yet, unspecified allotment of secure cloud storage.
Other possible parts of the bundled subscription service could include (although this has not been confirmed):
- Mozilla’s free file transfer service “Firefox Send”.
- Mozilla’s password manager “Lockwise”.
- Firefox Monitor, Mozilla’s service, similar to HaveIBeenPwned.com, which allows you to check whether your personal information has been compromised by any of the numerous data breaches.
- The “Pocket” application, also known as “Read It Later” which helps with managing a reading list of articles from the Internet by letting you save web pages and videos to Pocket in just one click. Mozilla acquired this service in 2017, and it already has a Premium version available for $45 per year.
- Tools from ‘Scroll’ (a start-up working with Mozilla) that could result in users of the new premium service getting access to certain news sites.
Current reports indicate that the premium Firefox service could cost users around the $10 per month mark.
Still Free Firefox
Mozilla has announced that it won’t charge for existing Firefox features as part of its shift to offering subscription services and that the free Firefox browser will continue to run as normal.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
For Mozilla, this offers a way to diversify and generate a stream of revenue that isn’t connected to Google and monetises the synergies that it can get from a bundle of some of the products and services that it already owns. It’s also another way to compete in a tough browser market where there is one very strong and dominant market leader that already monetises popular advertising services that display across other browsers and platforms.
For users, access to a premium level VPN bandwidth and secure cloud storage from a known and trusted brand may justify a monthly subscription, particularly with some of the other value-adding services that could be bundled in and may not have been tried businesses to date.