If you've ever thought that it would be wiser to pay a few cents to read a paywalled article than shell out for an expensive subscription, you're about to get your chance. Blendle is launching a US beta for its news aggregation service, which lets you pay to read individual stories from outlets like the Economist, the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal. Prices start at as little as 9 cents a pop, and you can even ask for an instant refund if you think you've been stiffed. At the moment, the only big catch is that you have to sign up for a waiting list to get in -- you may be twiddling your thumbs for a while.
It's hard to know whether or not Americans will bite. Many of the early partners are either free or have limited free access (such as Bloomberg and the New York Times), and those that usually insist on subscriptions (like the Wall Street Journal) tend to cater to a business crowd that subscribes as a matter of course. And let's face it: many people are used to reading free, ad-subsidized stories. However, Blendle might help simply by putting the juicier pay-only articles within reach -- you don't have to settle for reading a tiny preview when you're unwilling to make a full commitment to a magazine or newspaper.