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Despite the impressive list of top publications that have signed onto Blendle’s “iTunes for newspapers” platform on March 23, publishers remain very nervous about micropayments for news articles. Senior news executives typically view per-article pricing as a threat to their subscription paywalls, too cumbersome for users and carrying transaction costs that are too high. Many also believe individual news stories are already free and ubiquitous on the web and can’t be monetized by direct payment. A number of micropayments startups have come and gone over the past two decades. But Blendle and a host of other new companies are emerging with per-article transactions technologies and platforms for news publishers. Are they delusional? Or do they know something publishers don’t know about the future of paid content?

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