Maybe this is how people will pay for quality news

News aggregation start-up founder Gautam Mishra’s bet.

Since advertising revenue tanked globally, news organisations are struggling to stay afloat. Many are looking to transition to a subscription-based model, but they’re finding a lot of people don’t want to make a financial commitment.

Gautam Mishra has a potential solution that he’s calling “noise-free news”.

Inkl’s Gautam Mishra talks with Siddharth Varadarajan of The Wire, an independent news service in India, at Storyology. Nikolina Matijevic/The Walkley Foundation

Inkl, the start-up he founded, is an online news service that relies on partnerships with news organisations and clever algorithms to sift out quality news stories for people. You can use Inkl for free. And if you sign up for the premium version, you get access to more articles, at $0.10 for each one.

“We’re building a marketplace of news and giving buyers enough convenience that people are willing to pay for it,” said Mishra.

Like Spotify, Inkl promotes its premium features — which include access to certain publications — to its free users. Unlike Spotify, no matter which version you have, there are no ads.

Mishra observed the disruption that the digital age has had on media outlets and the dramatic decrease in income, resulting in fewer reporters and less accountability journalism. His aim, with Inkl, is to recreate a sustainable model for journalism.

“I think media organisations will evolve. It’s no longer about getting out there as much as you can; it’s about the value of content and consumption behaviour,” he said.

Mishra believes that the more his competitors adopt such subscription models, the better it is for the industry.

Then, he says, “The core benefit becomes more obvious to people.”