Micropayment pioneer can't make it work

By: Rob Corbidge, 14 August 2023

Once again, the logic behind a micropayment proposition falls down once it meets consumer reality

Blendle, the Dutch company who found profile in championing micropayments, have shut down the service for German and US customers.

The business was acquired by subscription bundle specialists Cafeyn in 2020. 

Speaking to journalism.co.uk, Cafeyn CEO Ari Assuied said that lack of use was behind the decision, with user numbers "very limited compared to the size of the overall Cafeyn/Blendle base, hence our decision to close down the micropayment service."

While a standardised micropayment system for publishers to sell content through makes sense on paper, in reality publishers have found that subscriptions simply make more financial sense as an income stream and allow for longer term planning.

Making subscribers feel they are getting value for money if content can be sliced off and sold piecemeal is a conundrum no publishers has solved, and on the user side, the fact is consumers will think micropayments are a good idea, but never use them.

That has not deterred Elon Musk, of course.