Blendle, the Dutch startup that allows users to pay small micropayments for individual newspaper and magazine articles rather than having to sign up to digital subscriptions, has just signed up all the major German national newspapers to its service.
Not just some of them — all of them. Eighteen dailies and 15 weeklies. The app now has an almost complete lock on national news in Germany.
That's big news, not just for the two-year-old startup, but also for the wider digital publishing ecosystem. The success of a micropayments models depends on well-known publications signing up. (If just one publication in a particular market operates some form of paywall, readers will often look elsewhere to find free content.)
Blendle CEO Marten Blankesteijn says in a news release: "The very best articles in the German language are published in print magazines and newspapers, or locked up behind paywalls. But many people don't have a subscription, so they are missing all these amazing stories."
Newspapers including Bild, Die Welt, National, and BZ have joined Blendle Germany, alongside weeklies and magazines including Gala, 11 Freunde, Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, and Kicker.