US dailies join 'micropayments' news startup Blendle

[WASHINGTON] Three major US daily newspapers announced plans on Thursday to make their articles available through a Dutch-based startup pioneering the use of "micropayments" for news.

The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post agreed to work with Blendle, which describes itself as a "digital newsstand" allowing readers to buy individual articles online, according to a joint statement.

"It's a great honour that three of the most important newspapers in the world will start working with us," said Blendle-founder Alexander Klopping in the statement released by the New York Times.

The New York Times and German publisher Axel Springer agreed last year to invest in the platform founded by two young Dutch ex-journalists, which charges an average of 20 cents on average per article.

"We are glad to be one of the first American media organisations in Blendle's international rollout," said Steve Hills, president and general manager of the Washington Post.

"As the Post's global audience continues to grow, this platform offers readers a new way to engage with our journalism."

The price per newspaper or magazine article is set by the publisher and the revenue is split between the publisher and Blendle.

Last year, Blendle said all major Dutch newspapers and magazines had signed up for the service.

Blendle's entry comes with many publishers struggling to adapt to a move to digital news, with mixed results from paywalls and online subscriptions.

Blendle has some 220,000 users in the Netherlands who pay mostly between 0.15 and 0.30 euros per article, according to its website.


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