Blendle, the 'iTunes for journalism', took over Dutch curated news startup Paper. With the acquisition (details undisclosed) Blendle takes a bigger step in their curating activities.
Paper, founded in 2015, is a startup from news publisher De Persgroep. It curates 15 articles from their brands daily, for 5,95 euro per month. This is almost the same thing Blendle does as a service for its users. Every morning, the editorial team creates a newsletter/reading list of interesting articles to read, with a link to that piece in Blendle. There's a semi-science to it, as this excellent article explains (in Dutch).
The acquisition therefore makes perfect sense and is a logical next step, says CEO Alexander Klöpping in a press release. "Both digital brands are a great match, in target audience and content." For current Paper users there won't change a thing, Klöpping also said.
Frits Campagne, CEO of De Persgroep, stated that with the acquistion "the future of Paper is secured. Within Blendle it will get the attention it deserves."
Blendle, also currently active in Germany and the US, isn't sure yet if it will do something with the Paper brand in those markets, founder Marten Blankensteijn told StartupJuncture. "First we want to set this up in The Netherlands. Then decide if we will use it abroad." Other publishers besides De Persgroep are also welcome to join.
Blendle: a Spotify model?
The interesting stuff about this take-over, besides it being logical, is that the startup now gets a monthly revenue stream as well (right now users pay per article). That doesn't mean a Spotify model, an 'all-you-can-read', will eventually come, said Blankensteijn.
"I don't see any successful all-you-can-reads arise, simply because the better or 'more expensive' titles won't cooperate. Some newspapers think like this: if our digital subscription costs 15 euro per month, why work with a subscription that costs 10 euro per month AND has multiple titles in it? They're afraid losing those (digital) subscribers. If those parties start to think otherwise, we're happy to work with them on such a model."
Recently such a Dutch all-you-can-read startup, eLinea, went bankrupt.
However, personally, I cannot repulse the impression Blendle flirts with the idea. And to me, this startup is one of those startups that nailed communication with its users in every single way. A quirky style of language, sometimes a joke, but never childish. So a monthly subscription in the style of Blendle? Yes please. I'm sure I'm not the only one willing to pay for that.
Curating Paper possibly proves to be a step towards that direction. Publishers: keep track of this development! Blendle might actually engage your readers better than you do.
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