Firefox becomes paid: premium version arrives

Firefox is about to become paid. This is not an indiscretion or a boutade, but a statement by Mozilla CEO. Here's what it will offer in addition

The Mozilla Firefox browser will soon have a premium paid version. It is not a rumor but the admission of the CEO of Mozilla, Chris Beard, who in an interview with the German press has confirmed the arrival of Firefox premium (but the name will not be this) with additional features than the basic version.

"We are not going to ask for money for what is free today - said Beard - We will offer a subscription service and a premium level. And the plans are to introduce the former as early as this year, by the fall. Hopefully in October." Then Beard specified that the premium features will be released gradually: "We'll probably launch some services first and then think carefully about which business model makes the most sense." Finally, Beard clarified that the core Firefox browser and its security services, such as Enhanced Tracking Protection, will remain free.

What Firefox Premium will look like

It's clear, then, that not even Mozilla currently knows exactly what Firefox Premium will look like and what the additional features will be compared to the free standard version. Among the hypotheses in the field there is certainly that of including in the paid offer a VPN service, with a certain amount of data bandwidth included. Mozilla, after all, in late 2018 signed a partnership with Proton precisely to offer its users a paid VPN. Now it could take the next step by making this service organic to the premium version of Firefox. A second hypothesis is to offer a cloud storage service for data, a bit like Google also does today with Drive. But with all the security and privacy features that have made Mozilla's browser famous over the years. A third hypothesis is to expand the collaboration with Scroll, a news broadcasting service without advertising based on monthly subscription.

Mozilla's new business model

During the interview Mozilla's CEO clearly explained that the company is trying to change business model and that the paid version of Firefox is part of this strategy. Today Mozilla's first source of income (about 90%) are search engines, which pay for the data collected by the browser during users' browsing. The second source of income is content distribution: Mozilla owns a company called Pocket that discovers and disseminates the best content found online. And, among these contents, there are also the sponsored ones that bring money to Mozzilla. The third source of business, at this point, will become the provision of premium subscription services.