Time Inc., The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Condé Nast are among the publishers signed up to Blendle, a Dutch micropayments platform that launches in the U.S. today.
Blendle’s ambition is to be a content platform for journalism in the same way that Spotify is for music, or Netflix for film. The service offers an ad-free, pay-per-story service across a range of different publishers, charging between 19 and 39 cents per newspaper article, and between 9 and 49 cents for magazine stories.
Editors, as well as algorithms, are employed to offer recommendations to readers, who can get an immediate refund if they don’t like the article they’ve chosen. Around 10% of articles are refunded, falling to between 3% and 4% for serious interviews and analysis. The platform, which operates a single account through which articles can be individually purchased, already has more than 650,000 users in Germany and the Netherlands, two-thirds of whom are under 35 years old.
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