Readersforum's Blog

November 7, 2012

A sip of Mampoer — for a small price

By Nick Hedley, an experimental website run by some of South Africa’s big names in publishing, is set to shift African journalism “into new territory”.

Describing its long-form in-depth articles as mini-books — “shorter than a novel, longer than a magazine” — the site is named after “a small drink that packs a giant kick”.

The website began selling articles of between 5,000 and 15,000 words to readers for $2.99 each about a week ago, and co-founder Anton Harber says the site is seeing “a steady stream of visitors, and sales are picking up nicely”.

Mampoer’s creation resonates with a continuing shift to digital publishing.

US news magazine Newsweek recently said it would stop its print edition and focus entirely on digital publishing.

Analysts have expressed cautious optimism that Mampoer will address a gap in the South African market.

But they warn that attracting readers willing to pay for content will be difficult when free content is still widely available.


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