Mozilla expands its partnership with ad-free subscription service Scroll

Mozilla just announced a new initiative called Firefox Better Web with Scroll, which combines the tracking protection built into its Firefox browser with the ad-free browsing experience offered by Scroll.

Last year, Firefox turned on something called Enhanced Tracking Protection for all its users by default, blocking third-party cookies and crypto-mining. Scroll, meanwhile, is a startup that recently launched a subscription service allowing you to read sites like BuzzFeed News, Business Insider, Salon, Slate and Vox without ads, with the revenue split among the publishers that you’re actually visiting.

Mozilla has already been working with Scroll to collect feedback on this approach from small groups of Firefox users. Here’s how the company summarized its findings:

  • Users see ads as distracting and say their online experience is broken (in the tech world, we call it breakage).
  • Users care a great deal about supporting journalism. Many users intentionally choose not to install ad-blockers because of the impact that it would have on publishers.
  • Users want to support Mozilla because we’re a non-profit and put our users first with Firefox.

Now anyone in the United States who’s interested in trying this out can sign up for a Firefox account and install the Better Web with Scroll extension. They’ll need to pay for a Scroll subscription as well — the company’s currently charging an introductory price of $2.49 per month, with plans to eventually increase to $4.99.

In a blog post, Scroll said the results since launch are delivering on its promise to bring publishers more money than advertising; in fact, publishers are seeing an average $30 to $40 RPM (revenue per thousand pageviews) from Scroll visitors.

“The model works, and combined with Firefox’s best ever private browsing experience, we can bring a better web to many more,” the company said.