Blendle is a platform that lets readers make micropayments to access news articles behind paywalls without having to subscribe.
The journalism industry is facing tough decisions on how to stay profitable with an increasingly digital audience. With so much news available for free, and such a wide variety of other content to choose from, many media outlets and newspapers are turning to paywalls to monetize their websites. However, inevitably, this can reduce the traffic and exposure of their articles, not to mention put off readers.
A journalism app is trying meet this challenge by allowing readers to pay small sums to access individual articles online. Blendle is a premium journalism platform that enables users to pay for and enjoy articles that are behind paywalls without subscribing.
Users pay as little as USD 25 cents for an article — a list of curated stories are sent to their inbox, and they can choose which ones to access. They can even ask for refunds if they weren’t satisfied with a piece. The app has now been launched to beta users in the US and has signed up some of the biggest names in US journalism, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Time, and The Economist.
On a blog on medium, Blendle co-founder Alexander Klópping said: “Journalism needs a Spotify, a Netflix, an iTunes — whatever you want to call it. One website that houses the best newspapers and magazines in the country.”
With new platforms for journalism offering three sides to every story, or providing a crowdfunding model for journalists, what other ways could publishers improve the way content generates revenue while staying independent?