Blendle: the iTunes of Journalism
Blendle is a Dutch online pay-per-click news platform. It provides an online kiosk that stocks most major national publications and is browsable on any connected device.
Modern readers with fragmented interests can easily customise their reading material: Blendle users may browse entire publications, but pay only for the articles they choose to read. Prices for individual pieces range from €0.10 to €0.30, and accumulative spend is capped at what one would pay for the entire issue. If, for instance, a reader zips through a print edition of national daily De Volkskrant, they will be gifted access to the entire issue once they hit its €0.89 price tag. They can also choose to buy an entire issue straight away, and manage existing subscriptions to any publication that has partnered with Blendle.
Trending articles as well as recommendations from friends encourage content discovery, and a recently inaugurated Golden Pen award distinguishes the top three articles according to Blendle's sales data on a monthly and annual basis.
Allowing readers to pull only what is of interest to them from the publications – in the same way that sections of a weekend paper might be plucked apart by members of a household – Blendle swaps the inhibitive subscription paywall for a series of microtransactions.
At the time of writing, the majority of Blendle's catalogue consists of Dutch and Flemish language publications, with The Economist an international outlier. However, Dutch editions of international magazines are already on the roster, and the American New York Times Co. and German publisher Axel Springer Digital Ventures have just invested €3m in the company – so this is set to change very soon.
For more on the evolution of media consumption, read our report on The Value of Long Form content in a hyper-choice media environment, and find out how The New York Times and the BBC navigate their digital lives in How Legacy Brands Innovate.