Sesamy for Content in Small Bites

December 1, 2022

Here is good news for anyone who would like to purchase a piece of content without a long-term relationship with its host platform. The Next Web reports, “Swedish Startup Sesamy Seeks to Slaughter the Subscription Model.” It is such a good idea, we wonder whether this company will become an Amazon acquisition target. Writer Cate Lawrence tells us:

“[Sesamy is] So far, the Stockholm-based company has partnered with every major book publisher in Sweden and Denmark to offer users the option to purchase digital content as a single purchase. You can then consume it on any app or device. This means you can play Sesamy audiobooks in your favorite audio app and download watermarked ebooks to any ereader. And you actually own the book instead of renting it with a platform like Amazon Kindle. … Publishing companies are struggling to woo readers who look to cut costs, and Sesamy offers them a new business model and potential revenue source. In October, the company launched SmartID with Swedish publication Breakit, enabling publishers to monetize non-subscribed readers, without cannibalizing their existing revenues from digital subscriptions.

The software will also include built-in price optimization that suggests a fair retail cost to readers and publishers, ensuring that the platform remains competitive. And this incremental revenue may add up at a time when people are culling their subscriptions to save money.”

There must be an appetite for this sort of service—the company just raked in €3.3 million in a recent funding round. It will use this capital to make available single issues of newspapers and magazines. Yes please. Lawrence contemplates an extension to academic journal articles. They should really be free, she notes, but single-article access would be an improvement. Sesamy was founded in March 2021 by the folks behind the podcast platform Acast.

Cynthia Murrell, December 1, 2022

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