Niuzly looks to alter access to paid-for digital journalism
If the 1990s saw the original, somewhat speculative .com boom, and the noughties cemented the place of online in a good chunk of the world’s lives, then this decade has so far been all about fine tuning, tweaking and improving on those first not-so-small steps. The result means we’re never short of potentially innovative new ideas to talk about, such is the overwhelming amount of research, money and time spent on the digital sphere.
In comparison to many sectors therein, journalism has taken as many leaps forward as it has slammed feet down and neglected to act on the need to change. It’s not necessarily the fault of the press itself- hands are tied behind backs when it comes to budgets, and the ability to ensure there will still be a budget tomorrow, but the fundamental truth is that any experimentation with online models on the part of the old institutions has been tentative at best- fear of losing audience numbers, putting off passers-by and therefore reducing advertising worth is rife.
Indeed, arguably the most exciting developments to happen in digital journalism have come from new players in the market. Titles have sprung up and grown into either the new authority- as has been the case with online music and trade editorial- or made an impact because of their format, design and functionality. Which is understandable, because when you’re at a standing start you can begin in whatever way your finances and imagination allow- in short, you’re not governed by the structures of an age gone by.
Niuzly is certainly amongst the more interesting ideas of this kind we’ve stumbled upon in some time. Of course everything is born a pipe dream, and there are so many factors that can dictate the success or failure of a media startup that needs to attract readers, but nevertheless there is some potential. Put simply, the platform is designed to do two things. The public, in theory, will be able to access content from a variety of sources through one application, and pay for what they read. For journalists and editors, they have the ability to increase revenue streams by hosting their material on the service.
Since the advent of paywalls it has really only been a matter of time until something like this came along. Just consider the number of times you have been blocked by a pay-for news site and would realistically fork out next-to-nothing for a quick look at the page you originally requested. Whether or not the right content, from the best possible professionals, can and will be secured for the platform is likely to be the real test as to whether this concept can work, but we’re all ears (or perhaps eyes?) to observe exactly how this story ends.