The Future of Journalism is in Refunds

Dutch journalism experiment, Blendle, on what they’ve learned from their first year of operation. It’s a pretty interesting idea: you buy a subscription, read the stories, but if there’s something you don’t like, you can request a refund. What they’ve found is that people don’t want to pay what they can get for free:

We don’t sell a lot of news in Blendle. People do spend money on background pieces. Great analysis. Opinion pieces. Long interviews. Stuff like that. In other words: people don’t want to spend money on the ‘what’, they want to spend money on the ‘why’.

And they don’t want to pay for what they perceive as without value:

Gossip magazines, for example, get much higher refund percentages than average (some up to 50% of purchases), as some of them are basically clickbait in print. People will only pay for content they find worth their money. So in Blendle, only quality journalism starts trending.

They have 250,000 users, and some amazing analytics for how they can grow that number.