Monday, December 14, 2015

Two media companies trying digital pay-as-you-go model

The Globe and Mail's James Bradshaw reports:
News publishers have long wondered whether asking readers to pay per story could get customers who are accustomed to free news to open their wallets. This model is perennially “just around the corner,” said Joshua Benton, director of the Nieman Journalism Lab.
 But two companies – the Winnipeg Free Press newspaper and the digital newsstand Blendle – have lately put their faith in micropayments and say the experiment looks to be gaining traction. A slice of readers have handed over their credit-card info and are buying stories one at a time – even some millennials.
Whether pay-as-you-go can draw in a wider audience remains an intriguing question for the news industry, and its stiffest test may come early in 2016, when Blendle, a European news-aggregation app that charges by the article, launches its beta version in the United States. The app has prospered in countries with a distinct language like the Netherlands, where it was founded. But the English market is another matter.
“There is so much free content in English, in North America, that I think a micropayment model will have significant challenges,” Mr. Benton said.
The whole story

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