Blendle vs Flipboard
We are currently living in the Information age, which according to Hutter (2003) “is a shorthand term for a state of society in which communication is ubiquitous and knowledge is instantly available”. We experience this in our personal lives through the constant flow and availability of information through web-based applications on our e-devices.
Nowadays, it is also unimaginable that business could be conducted without the constant IT-enabled flow of information. Yes, our lives have become very dependent of information and we are constantly searching for new and innovative information goods.
The distribution of information or news has changed through time. Where old villages had a central place to shout the news to all the villagers, we developed the news by introducing newspapers, news channels on the television, and the availability of news online. The latter is the current trend in news and this development is still going through some rapid changes.
Important players in the modern news
Taken the new era of news, we looked at two pioneer news firms who have responded well to the new industry.
The first company we looked at was Blendle. Blendle is a Dutch online kiosk that offers customers the possibility to buy articles from newspapers and magazines per piece. Blendle offers customers an online kiosk with a wide range of magazines and newspapers. Customers can scroll through a list of articles, when a customer decides to read an article; he or she pays for it with an online wallet. Blendle uses a pay-per-view revenue model in which Blendle is an intermediating party that receives 30% of the price that is paid by the customer for viewing an article. The remaining amount goes to the publisher of the article Blendle gets its main competitive advantage from offering the customer a large variety of both newspapers and magazines combined with the pay-per-view option. This combination is not offered by the competition in the Dutch market.
Flipboard’s original goal was to build a simplistic, magazine like, application wherein users can easily find readings of their interest. These readings are directly sorted to the users’ interests and are directly readable on demand. By clustering content by topic or interest areas, Flipboard is then able to present the reader with only content he or she is actually interested in. In this way the interface presents itself as a personalized magazine.
Flipboard attempts to take the entire user-search process out of this equation by using the information provided by both the news publisher and reader. Flipboard is able to provide a unique value proposition to the reader by building a user- tailored magazine-like interface that immediately shows content the reader is interested in. This strategy is highly customer-solution oriented and enables online publisher to get in contact with their intended reader.
difference between the two is their revenue model. Blendle earns money per article they sell. They share the earnings with the publisher. Therefore only paid content is offered. This revenue model empowers them to offer their services without any advertisements. Flipboard does not profit from selling paid articles, they don’t share earnings with publishers. Their revenue model is based upon advertisement. Their position between readers and publishers is where they get their earnings from: they can offer advertisers the possibilities for targeted marketing, seeing the fact that they have good knowledge about the interests of the readers.
Conclusion & Opinion
We believe both companies reacted well to the changing market and therefore will have a fortunate future. Still they need to adapt to new trends in the news industry and be careful for new entrants that could threaten their current business. Considering the fact that both companies have a first mover advantage, the new entrants will have a hard time in taking over the position of Blendle and Flipboard.
Max van Hilten (417357mh)
Thijs Sicking (350118ms)
Marco Stoppini (44015ms)
Victor Vink (345936vv)
Rutger Vogelsang (435718rv)