Sydney-based start up Streem yesterday formally launched a new online news site, saying it would differ from traditional media outlets by paying readers a small fee for any content they submit.
Streem spokesperson Elgar Welch said the site currently had about eight editorial staff, and also supplemented its content with wire feeds from companies like Australian Associated Press (AAP).
However, while most other large news websites operate on traditional publishing models, taking tips for free from readers and paying staff and freelancers, Welch said Streem would pay everyone.
"Streem.com.au is about giving everyone a place to access the latest news and earn from their media," he said. "It's the next logical step online." Streem's model sees readers able to earn 25 per cent of an individual page's advertising revenue, with the start-up expecting to pay out between one cent and AU$100 per photo, video or blog.
Welch declined to reveal who was behind the site, but said it was a number of private investors who had seen the writing on the wall when it came to traditional media. In particular, one investor had a background in film and television.
In terms of design, Streem's site appears similar to other online news and discussion outlets such as SMH.com.au, News.com.au or Crikey in Australia, or the Huffington Post and New York Times in the United States.
Although Streem has launched with a seemingly innovative revenue model that could see some money handed back to users, we don't think it will help Streem really get ahead.
At the moment most of the site's content appears to be generated by AAP news wires, and no author names appear to be listed. Today's world of internet content is a cut-throat one, and it's hard to see exactly what readers will be attracted to in the first place when Streem doesn't offer a unique value proposition compared to existing rivals with more resources.
In addition, many other start-ups that are heavily dependent upon interaction from Australian readers, such as Perth-based Norg Media, don't appear to be gaining significant traction.
For example, when this article was published, PerthNorg, one of Norg Media's websites, was leading with an article that appeared to have been voted up by only seven readers.
bootstrappr opinion: BUST