Mozilla CEO: Premium version of Firefox coming this fall

Browser maker working on premium version of Firefox with extra features like VPN access and secure storage.

Firefox

In an interview with German tech news site t3n, Mozilla CEO Chris Beard has revealed plans to launch a premium version of Firefox later this year.

This version will be available as a monthly subscription, Beard told t3n, and users will have access to a standard Firefox release with additional services.

Things haven't been ironed out yet, but Beard suggested that some of these additional features will be access to a VPN service and a secure storage space.

Beard said that all current Firefox features would remain free, and the browser maker won't take previously free features and move them into a premium tier.

Mozilla plans to test this subscription service sometime in October.

Mozilla looking for new revenue streams

This subscription service is Mozilla's latest attempt at finding alternative methods of monetizing its service.

"We are working on three sources of income, and we want to rebalance them," Beard told t3n. "We have Search, but we also make content. We have a company called Pocket that discovers and curates content. There is also sponsored content. This is the content business."

"And the third one we are working on and developing [...] are premium levels for some of these offerings," Beard said. "You can imagine something like a secure storage solution."

"We also tested VPN," Beard said, referring to a test Mozilla ran together with ProtonVPN last fall, in the US.

"You can imagine we'll offer a solution that gives us all a certain amount of free VPN bandwidth and then offer a premium level over a monthly subscription," the Mozilla exec said.

"We want to add more subscription services to our mix and focus more on the relationship with the user to become more resilient in business issues."

Right now, 90 percent of Mozilla's revenue comes from its partnerships with search engine providers, and mainly from its Google deal.

A Mozilla spokesperson was not available for additional details. News of Mozilla launching a premium service was greeted positively online, with many users liking the idea.

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