‘Newspaper landlords’ rent a read for micro-payments

Job seekers who cannot afford the 35-cent purchase price of a newspaper in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia can instead rent the paper for 20-30 minutes while they search the “vacancies” (aka classifieds). The rental costs less than a cent — as micro a payment as they come. Thieves are the biggest business threat to these “newspaper landlords,” while their business model is a threat to the newspapers. One newspaper owner says: “For the reading habits it is good … For the publisher it is nothing. If we calculate in terms of income, the publisher gets nothing from such rentals.” (Thanks to Steve Buttry for the Twitter tip.)

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