Friday, March 7, 2014

The Dutch revolution in journalism: all newspapers behind one paydike

Blendle is a small journalism startup from The Netherlands. Recently, we (two 27-year old founders) got all major newspapers and magazines in the country to start a revolutionary experiment. The Netherlands will be the first country in the world where all articles of all newspapers and all important magazines will be available in one web app, with one pay wall, where users will only have to pay for the articles they read. We think that unbundling of journalism is the Holy Grail in getting young people to pay for journalism again.
Within Blendle, users can see what articles their friends or interesting curators (celebrities, journalists, politicians, radio DJ’s) have shared from the paid sections of today’s newspapers and magazines, and which articles are trending on the platform. The app also enables anyone to share articles from Holland’s best journalists on Facebook and Twitter. No more signing up with different paywalls for every newspaper. Users pay with a single click, and only for the articles they read. New users get €2.50 for free, and can then top up their Blendle wallet.
Until now, it was not possible for Dutch consumers to search for premium content from newspapers and magazines. Blendle is the first paid search engine for newspapers and magazines in the country. If a user wants to follow everything about specific subjects — say, the situation in Crimea, or bitcoins, or their favorite author — they can set email alerts for those words.
Users always pay a price per article (set by the publisher), but are also able to refund their money if they don’t deem the article worthy after reading it (a fair use policy applies). It’s a pretty cool function that greatly increases the amount of money spent on journalism in the beta.

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