Pay-per-Story Platform Blendle Goes Live in Germany.
With Over 100 Titles on Board.
During our beta, we had the largest number of titles of any digital newsstand in the country. So we went ahead and doubled it. For our official launch, we added Handelsblatt, Wired, and many, many more.
This is it, Germany. Blendle Deutschland is live.
Sign up right away, and we’ll give you 2.50 € so you can start reading immediately.
Germany is our first international launch, and an important step in our mission to make the world’s best journalism available to everyone.
There’s so much to cover, of course. I could get into what a huge moment this is, as we’re ending our beta. Today we’re unlocking a whole new world of journalism: all articles, accessible for everyone on one platform with just one tap. Too much good stuff has been hidden away in paper publications or behind paywalls. On Blendle, people in Germany have access to some of the most amazing stories in the world without subscription, for the first time. They only pay for what they actually read — and love: because if they don’t like a story, they get their money back immediately. I could point to the amazing feedback we got from our first international users. The stellar reviews from the press (remember?). I could talk about the incredible support from our partners.
There are many things I could tell you about in much more detail. But I won’t, because there’s even more important news to share.
So, here’s our launch line-up
In the past two weeks, we have been hard at work (for proof, look to the left). Already, our users were testing not a perfect platform, but one to be proud of. Only on Blendle can you read all articles from the best newspapers and magazines such as Der Spiegel, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Zeit, Stern, Neon, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
But today, on our launch day, I’m excited to announce that we’re adding a whole list of amazing new titles to our platform: Handelsblatt, Wirtschaftswoche, Handelsblatt Magazin, Focus, Wired, GQ, Süddeutsche Magazin, Zeit Magazin and many, many more. Seriously, many more: Well over 100 publications will be accessible on Blendle. Some of them you can start reading right now, others are coming very, very soon.
Amazing stories, discovered
Blendle is all about discovering new, exciting and surprising stories that make you smarter, help you make sense of the world or, simply, inform you reliably.
The crazy wealth of information online and, increasingly, on Blendle doesn’t make it any easier to find the really good stuff. But we’ve asked some truly fascinating people to test our platform as curators. A set of experts will recommend stories from their fields and push them directly into users’ feeds. Some of them you might know: Wolfgang Blau, Digital Director at The Guardian, Miriam Meckel, an expert on media topics and Editor in Chief of Wirtschaftswoche, Tilo Jung of “Jung + Naiv” fame and one of my favorite new talents in journalism in Germany, Simon Hurtz of Süddeutsche. He thinks Blendle is a great service for journalists and readers, he recently told me via email. “On Blendle, I can discover stories of some of the greatest newspapers, and share my recommendations with a large number of users. It’s a fair deal for all involved.”
I obviously agree, and am super happy to have all of these smart people on our platform. They are one of our most important ways to help all of our readers discover the best new journalism that is made in Germany and in some of the best global publications. Another way is our daily newsletter, curated by our own team of journalists. On the best days, during our beta, our newsletter had an open rate of over 90 percent, a rate unheard of in the industry.
Of truly mobile and slightly tipsy futures
Our launch in Germany is an important step in our mission to make the world’s best journalism available to everyone. But it’s only one of many steps to come. Already, we’re providing a platform that is used mainly on mobile devices, where an increasing number of people do their reading. Almost 70 percent of the stories on Blendle are purchased and read on iPhones, Android phones and other smartphones and tablets (there’s an app for that — iOS, Android). But we want to do so much more.
In the months to come, you’ll be able to sync even more of your subscription with Blendle, we’ll work hard on improving our platform, getting even more curators and titles on board and making the experience more beautiful and even easier to use. And of course there’s more great possibilities for us to push journalism even further into the future — I’m excited to share more on that last point soon. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get the news first.
First, though, we’re meeting up with some of our best friends and partners in Berlin tonight, to drink German beers and celebrate our first international launch. But no matter how much booze there will be, the morning after, we won’t have forgotten that the story of Blendle outside the Netherlands, where we come from, has only just begun.