The Dutch media platform Blendle, which allows users to pay a small fee to read an article in digital format, launched in U.S. media on Wednesday with the aim of revolutionizing the consumption of online news.
“We thought it was quite strange that music had Spotify and video had Netflix, but journalism didn’t have its own platform where people could pay for it,” said co-founder Alexander Klopping.
Instead of paying a monthly subscription fee, Blendle allows users to pay a few cents to read an article – with no advertisements – from among a wide variety of big U.S. publishers on its site.
The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Time, New York Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek and The Economist are just some of the major firms whose reporting one can read via this startup.
The price for reading a newspaper article ranges from 19 cents to 39 cents, while magazine pieces cost between 9 cents and 49 cents.
According to the agreement, 30 percent of the money collected is pocketed by Blendle and the rest goes to the media outlets, who set the prices of the articles.
One of the most interesting things about this new way to consume information is the possibility for Blendle to recognize the likes and consumption habits of readers, just as Spotify and Netflix do, and recommend other articles that may interest them.
U.S. media have been studying micropayments of this kind for digital consumption for some time, but so far they have not developed a common strategy for determining the best way to make the concept profitable on the Net.