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> There's a massive drive to consolidation: people don't want to have a lot of subscriptions to manage.

Imo subscriptions aren't viable at all. For me to subscribe to something I need strong evidence that I will use it enough.

Automatic micropayments with a daily allowance seem like a much superior solution. They remove the friction of making the subscribe decision and keep the content creators in check by only paying for interesting content. Subscriptions can be easily forgotten or aren't annoying enough to bother to cancel them even if the provided content isn't worth it anymore.




There is a company called Blendle that offers a curated source of news/op-ed/etc to read, where you pay some fraction of a dollar per read, usually in the 10-25¢ range. If you feel the article wasn't worth it, you can click a link to get an immediate refund, no questions asked.

I like the idea, and I do use their service. They have plenty of room to improve- the articles they pick tend to almost always have a certain political slant, and I find more puff than meat more often than I think a curated service should offer.

But. It's a real attempt at a new model, and they're trying. I do get enough value out of it to keep using them to the few-dollars-a-month level, and I hope they improve their system over time.


Blendle has stopped pay-per-article, moving to subscriptions entirely.


Are you sure about that? I literally received their daily digest which has the price-per-article, as expected, just a few hours ago. Maybe they are now offering both?


Yes, they're stopping micropayments on August 1st: https://www.niemanlab.org/2019/06/micropayments-for-news-pio...


Bummer. Guess that's the end of Blendle use for me. Thanks for letting me know.


The biggest problem I’ve had with Blendle is that I want to read an NYT article due to a recommendation, not because I go to their app. I just would forget to go there. There was no “open with blendle” option to move into my flow.


> Subscriptions can be easily forgotten or aren't annoying enough to bother to cancel them even if the provided content isn't worth it anymore.

Which is precisely why companies prefer the subscription model. See gyms, cable TV, and insurance companies.


> Automatic micropayments with a daily allowance seem like a much superior solution.

How do you ensure some content quality that goes beyond a headline and a catchy teaser paragraph?

Kindle Unlimited had this problem when they started distributing payouts based on pages read, which led to a proliferation of books with catchy first page, instructions to skip to the last page and a bunch of junk in between.


> How do you ensure some content quality that goes beyond a headline and a catchy teaser paragraph?

How about a simple button that makes a view/visit not count?

> instructions to skip to the last page

That happened because it didn't count pages read or time spent.


Kindle Unlimited has other problems that make issues for content quality, king among them being the KDP Select requirement.

I’ve managed to find value from Kindle Unlimited, but pretty much nobody but self published authors (which I have no problem with, but there’s effectively zero bar to entry meaning quality is over the place) is available on the service because of the KDP Select issue. It doesn’t seem to be evenly enforced either, since the Harry Potter books are available via Kindle Unlimited yet are available for sale on other eBook stores, for example.




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