Dutch, Belgian publishers mull a ‘Spotify for newspapers’

The Netherlands’ main news titles are collaborating on ideas for a joint payment system that would let readers buy access to each.
Dutch publishers’ trade association  NDP Nieuwsmedia confirmed members are exploring possibilities for a “common platform to meet demand for their content”, involving a shared database.
Holland’s number-three paper de Volkskrant reports that its Flemish owner Persgroep, NRC Handelsblad and the business title Het Financieele Dagblad (FD), which already charges, want to create (wait for it) “a Spotify for newspapers”.
Deloitte consultant Marieke van der Donk tells de Volkskrant that research she recently carried out for NPD New Media showed: “There is absolutely a market for the pay wall. The idea is that people own a newspaper can compile from the range of all the newspapers.”
Holland’s local media groups have already agreed a common news payment system, de Volkskrant reports.
And Flemish publishers in neighbouring Belgium are also talking with each other about a common news payment platform, according to De Standaard.
Some publishers that have considered charging have concluded it risky whilst their peers remain free. And many have concerns that retail collaboration would draw anti-trust heat.
Now some publishers in the low countries appear to be gaining confidence in a related option rolled out in Slovakia and Slovenia, where many publishers have put a minority of their content in to country-wide payment systems operated by Piano Media at arm’s length.
Publishers in countries where English is not the primary language may have a greater chance at selling their unique content.
Thanks to University of Sheffield journalism student Jeroen Kraan for the tip.