With services like Spotify and the US streaming service Hulu, we’ve become accustomed to coughing up a few bucks if we want to avoid advertisements. If you’re online though, we tend just to use freely available ad blockers, meaning the content creators earn nothing from our patronage.
However, Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox web browser, believes the Spotify model can be brought to the internet, ensuring publishers are compensated and boosting the privacy of web users by keeping the dreaded ad-trackers away.
It is testing a new $4.99-a-month subscription service (first spotted on Reddit via Liliputing) that’ll get rid of advertisements, while still paying organisations for their journalism. As well as the absence of ads, the service will provide audio versions of angles and synced bookmarks across devices.
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“Support the sites you love, avoid the ads you hate,” the First Look page reads. “We’ve partnered with some of the world’s greatest publishers to bring you a better journalism experience. We share your payment directly with the sites you read. They make more money which means they can bring you great content without needing to distract you with ads just to keep the lights on.”
The company isn’t allowing users to sign up yet, but visitors can fill in a survey to express their interest in the product. The page doesn’t yet list the publishers Mozilla is working with either.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of Mozilla’s plans to find new ways to fund online content. The firm says the online advertising model is broken, with users suffering from terrible experiences and pervasive tracking practices.
Mozilla said it has turned its “attention toward finding a more sustainable ecosystem balance for publishers and users alike.”
In a blog post in February, the foundation added: “In 2019, we will continue to explore new product features and offerings, including our ongoing focus on identifying a more sustainable ecosystem balance for both publishers and users.”