Blendle News App Signs up Every German Newspaper

blendle appNetherlands-based news startup Blendle has just signed up every major national German newspaper to its app, representing a considerable vote of confidence in its micropayment-based model by the German press.

The app enables users to make small micropayments for individual newspaper and magazine articles, rather than having to sign up for complete digital subscriptions for content they may not read regularly.

The model enables newspaper and magazine publishers to monetise their content while still enabling a freedom of consumption that paywall models do not allow for, and by partnering with every major German newspaper, it means individual publishers do not have to worry about being left behind as others are forced to chase subscribers or advertising partners.

“The very best articles in the German language are publishers in print magazines and newspapers, or locked up behind paywalls,” said Marten Blankensteijn, CEO of Blendle. “But many people dont have subscriptions, so they are missing all these amazing stories.”

18 daily newspapers including Bild, Die Welt, National and BZ have joined Blendle Germany, along with 15 weekly titles and magazines such as Gala, Der Spiegel, Kicker, 11 Freunde and Die Zeit.

Blendle allows users to register a credit card with the app then creates a digital newsstand based on topics users are interested in, as well as feeds curated by friends or celebrities. When users click on a headline, the app takes a small payment, with individual publishers able to set their own prices, but most articles costing around 20 cents (15 pence).

As well as publishers in the companys native Netherlands and the new wave of German titles, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal have all signed up to Blendle for test periods, and the firm is looking to expand to France and beyond.

In the UK press, publishers have been split between those using paywalls to monetise their content, and those relying on advertising to generate revenues. Those that have employed paywalls have, as you might expect, seen far lower digital readership figures than those without. According to the National Readership Survey, The Times saw 416,000 desktop readers in between April 2014 and March 2015, compared to The Guardians 10m, while The Mirrors 4.8m visitors far outstripped The Suns 843,000 hits.