Technology

Friday Buzz: Journalism's New Push For Micropayments

By / Mar 25, 2016 (Blendle screenshot)

A young startup hopes to rekindle the business of news with an experimental micropayments-driven application. Plus: How has an increase in cybersecurity changed our office conduct?

As social media and blogging have surged over the past decade, traditional news outlets have been desperately trying to play catch up.

From using virtual reality to creating native advertising, big and small publications alike have been digging for new ways to bring financial stability to the industry.

The latest innovation is Blendle, a startup that replaces the usual subscription model with the idea of gathering multiple publications onto a single platform and requiring small contributions per article—a phenomenon called micropayments.

Started in the Netherlands, the young company was inspired by the rising popularity of aggregate entertainment platforms.

“Journalism needs a Spotify, a Netflix, an iTunes—whatever you want to call it,” writes Blendle cofounder Alexander Klopping in a blog post. “One website that houses the best newspapers and magazines in the country, that allows people to browse through everything and only pay for the stories they like.”

The news application will allow readers to enjoy articles from institutions like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, ad-free, for 50 cents or less.

In addition to a searchable database, the platform will suggest articles and let users recommend stories to friends, bringing an element of personalization to news.

“Every time you read an article it tells us something about what topics you like to read about,” Klopping writes. “If you connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts, we’ll let you know what your friends have shared.”

While only in the beta stage now, the new concept may get organizations thinking about how they can leverage micropayments to give members a more enjoyable and personal experience.

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Eli Zimmerman

Eli is studying Journalism at the University of Maryland. When not studying, he likes to relax with a nice book or a couple rounds at the local boxing gym. More »

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