Don’t subscribe to the Times, just pay per article with Blendle

blendle pay per article blendlekiosk
Pay-per-view has come to a publication near you, and it’s all thanks to Dutch startup Blendle. Banking on the notion that no one actually wants to read the whole New York Times, or the entirety of the Wall Street Journal, Blendle instead allows you to pay on an article-by-article basis.

And apparently, no one has told the firm (or its users) how easy it is to make your way around the 10-article-per-month limit, because the app now boasts one million signups after just two years of existence.

Think of Blendle as the iTunes of journalism — for just a few cents, you’ll be able to read individual news articles from a wide range of supported publishers. And while that may not be an attractive option in and of itself, the real draw of the platform may be in its ad-free interface. So if you’re tired of having your reading experience interrupted by an ad that seems longer than the piece itself, this may be something of a solution. At least, it is for the “hundreds of thousands” of monthly active users Blendle now has.

Even more compelling is Bendle’s offer of a refund should you finish the article and be dissatisfied with its quality. According to the company, this money-back potential will encourage writers to create better content, prioritizing quality over quantity and refraining from clickbait-esque headlines. Already, Blendle co-founder Alexander Klöpping says, the company has refunded readers for around 10 percent of purchased articles (which seems like a rather high proportion).

The firm’s initial U.S. launch took place back in March, and included partnerships with some major players in the media space, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times. Each article from newspapers costs readers between 19 and 39 cents, while magazine participants such as Time, New York Magazine, and Mother Jones charge between 9 and 49 cents.

“We feel very strongly that consequential journalism is worth paying for, and that there is a strong need for more innovation in digital media to give consumers more options for directly supporting quality publishers,” said World Politics Review founder Hampton Stephens upon Blendle’s U.S. expansion. “Blendle is leading the way in proving that micro-payments can be an important part of publishers’ revenue mix, and we are excited to play a role in helping them bring their innovative platform to the U.S. market.”

At this point, TechCrunch reports, Blendle’s business has grown 300 percent over the last year, and the app projects that its burgeoning reader base will have consumed some 20 million articles by the end of 2016.

Updated on 8-12-2016: Blendle hits 1 million signups.


Apple banned from distributing some iPhone models in Germany

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.

Huawei in for a rough year as feds investigate alleged trade secrets theft

Huawei is also facing issues in the U.S., but it doesn't seem like that will end any time soon. According to a new report, the company is facing a federal investigation in the U.S. for allegedly stealing trade secrets.
Smart Home

This just in: Alexa can now deliver the news like a professional newscaster

The Amazon Alexa team has given Alexa a newscaster voice that improves the way she delivers the news and reads Wikipedia articles, making the smart assistant easier to understand.

Keep up-to-date with the best news apps on iPhone and Android

Are the days of traditional newspapers and broadcast news dwindling? With apps this good, maybe. Catch up on the latest headlines on any platform with the best news apps on iOS and Android.
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts as well as your Story.
Home Theater

Dolby’s secret recording studio app may soon exit stealth mode

In secret testing since June, Dolby's stealth recording and social network app may soon be ready to make an appearance. Dolby 234 blends unique noise-canceling tech with Instagram-like audio filters.

5G phones make a lot of promises. Here’s what to really expect

There has been a lot of marketing copy expounding the potential benefits of 5G networks, but a lot less on the practical implications of 5G smartphones. There's a reason for that.

Google is buying mysterious smartwatch tech from The Fossil Group for $40 million

Google is about to step up its smartwatch game. The company has agreed to buy an unnamed smartwatch technology from The Fossil Group for a hefty $40 million. Considering the acquisition, it's clear Google is serious about smartwatches.

Here’s how to take a screenshot on an iPad, step by step

The ability to capture screenshots may not be the iPad's most glamorous feature, but it's one of its most useful. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to take a screenshot on an iPad, whether it's an iPad Pro from 2018 or an older iPad model.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Social Media

Here’s how to save someone’s Instagram Story to your phone

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.

Lack of regulation means wearables aren’t held accountable for health claims

As fitness trackers become more like health monitors, some physicians are concerned they can lead to over-diagnosis of non-existent problems. It’s already happening with wearable baby monitors.

Here’s how to download podcasts and listen to them on Android or iOS

Podcasts have become a cultural staple. Here's how to download podcasts and listen to them on your Android or iOS device, and which apps to use if you're looking to get the most out of the format.

Windows 10 Mobile support ending: Switch to iOS or Android, Microsoft says

A Microsoft support page detailed the company's plans to end support for Windows 10 Mobile in less than a year. Users with devices powered by the platform are suggested to switch to iOS or Android devices.