Long-form e-single publisher Long Play has received €250,000 (around £210,000) in funding from an "innovation contest", just 10 months after having launched.
The funding is a significant increase on the €500 Long Play had to hand when it was first established in January. The latest prize – Long Play has received two other lower-value grants – was issued this week by "the innovation contest" Uutisraivaaja, a competition which "seeks ideas for renewing distribution of information and creating sustainable business models for journalism", aimed at outlets with roots in Finland.
The additional funds will help Long Play, which has placed a spotlight on investigative journalism, pursue their aim of creating their "own publishing platform, optimised for long-form narrative content and multimedia" early next year, according to a press release.
Johanna Vehkoo, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Long Play, told Journalism.co.uk via email that the idea is "to do a pilot project on leasing the platform for other publishers in Finland", before moving on to "franchising the platform" to enable versions of Long Play to be established in other countries.
"We'll help them set up their own LP collectives and start publishing," she explained. "They don't have to start from scratch as we already have a lot of experience of everything that has to do with publishing long-form e-singles. We'll offer them advice and technical support, and when they start publishing, we get a small percentage of their sales."
Vehkoo added that the funding will also mean the team can also start to compensate themselves.
"So far we've done a lot of work for free, so this will enable us to 'hire ourselves' in a sense and have some of us concentrate on Long Play for a few days a week."
Reetta Nousiainen, chief executive of Long Play added that the initial implementation of the publishing platform is likely to be "very basic", but that the funding will help them to develop this over time, and that they hope to look to publishing content beyond text, including images and video.