Sunday, 14 August 2016

This ambitious new service wants to be the ‘Spotify of news’ — but falls short.

It’s not exactly news that the news business is in ugly shape.

Print ads continue to dwindle while online ads, which make less money than their print-based counterparts, are often wildly irrelevant or annoying enough to goad readers into installing ad-blocking apps. Some ads even hide malware injected by third-party attackers.

But news sites’ moves to get readers to pay for subscriptions have frequently been clumsy, easily circumvented and rarely offer paying readers a break from those obnoxious ads.

The result, as John Oliver told us on his show “Last Week Tonight“: continued cutbacks in coverage that leave us collectively stupider.

But a service called Blendle offers an alternative to unending ads and ever-higher paywalls: tiny payments for individual, ad-free stories — often just 19 cents each. What’s more, you get refunds for stories you buy in just two clicks if you don’t like what you read. Blendle launched in the Netherlands in 2014, expanded to Germany in 2015 and launched to a limited US audience March 23. I’ve been trying it for the past few months, and I think you could like it … if Blendle addresses some issues.

By Rob Pegoraro.
Full story at Yahoo News.

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