By: Maggie Dickman
It’s easy to get the news right at our fingertips. Apps make it simple for us to access the news, with different media outlets finding better, more creative ways of presenting news and articles to us in our busy lives. What’s the next big thing to hit the news world? It might be the app and website Blendle, developed in the Netherlands.
This app gives readers a new way of finding the news they want to read. How many times has a pay wall ever prevented you from reading an article? This is what Blendle wants to prevent. The app allows readers to pick which articles they want to read, and instead of paying a certain fee for a monthly subscription to the site as a whole, you can read what you want and pay on an article by article basis.
Another benefit? If you don’t like an article, you can simply ask for a refund.
Blendle is being dubbed as “the Spotify for journalism” because people are paying for their news: “When I look at the age of our users they’re really young. That very often means that people are spending money for the first time in their lives on journalism. Like they probably are right now on Spotify and Netflix. They’re paying for journalism right now and that makes me very excited,” co-founder Alexander Klöpping said.
The app offers another unique feature. You can see what your friends are reading or search by topic and journalist. The only catch? It is currently only available in the Netherlands.
The creators’ goal is to spread the app around Europe and see where it goes from there. However, The New York Times Co. and Axel Springer Digital Ventures have invested $3.8 million in the company, giving hope to Blendle lovers sparking up around the world. “It’s just so amazing to us that it’s so annoying to buy journalism, to register at all these different websites. If you want to buy an app on your iPhone it’s just two clicks. But if you want to read an article on the Wall Street Journal you need to fill out a form,” Klöpping said to TechCrunch. The program launched in April and already has 130,000 registered users.
Would an app like this work in the United States? How would this service affect the monthly subscription rates of regular online newspapers and magazines? Would you use an app like Blendle?