Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Dutch tech whiz who could save journalism

By and  in Politico:
Alexander Klöpping turned up to his first meeting at the New York Times late, alone, and not entirely sure why he had been summoned to a conference room with a dozen newspaper executives.
It was March 2014, still weeks before he and his co-founder Marten Blankesteijn would launch Blendle, a Dutch technology platform that aspires to do for newspapers and magazines what Apple’s iTunes did for music: encourage a generation of young Internet users to pay for journalism online.
The backpack-wearing Dutch entrepreneur may have been awestruck and unprepared, but he made a strong impression. The Times offered to invest in his fledgling company, which gives users a mechanism to buy individual newspaper and magazine articles online for a small, one-off fee.
“I wasn’t even sure if people in Holland were going to like it,” Klöpping said. “Thinking about the United States was very far away.”
Less than two years later, after debuting in the Netherlands and Germany, Blendle is on the verge of importing its iTunes-style micropayment model to the U.S.. If it works, it will add a new and potentially rich seam for a publishing industry that is desperately searching for more ways to generate revenue online as their traditional print income collapses.
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