Mozilla seems to have made significant progress on its Apple News competitor over three months after it was announced. According to various sources, the organization has sent out invites to users, inviting them to participate in the upcoming beta launch of its news subscription service. Mozilla called it the "Firefox Ad-free Internet" in the invites, since it's meant to give users access to content from their favorite publications without having to look at ads.
A first look portal shows that it will set users back $5 a month. "We share your payment directly with the sites you read," it says. "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."
Mozilla conjured up the idea to offer an alternative and a more direct way to fund publishers. In an effort to gauge people's interest in an ad-free news experience, the organization has been sending out surveys and feedback requests to random users since February. It's very much possible that the service will offer the publications already available through Scroll's (Mozilla's partner) ad-free news subscription product, including BuzzFeed, Slate, The Atlantic and USA Today.
While Apple's News app is doing well and boasts tens of millions of regular users a month, it remains to be seen how receptive potential users will be to another paid news offering. It will most likely depend on how easy Mozilla's version is to access, on its features and on its partner publications.