Earlier this week publishing platform Medium announced that it is now offering revenue opportunities to select publishers, including a monthly subscription option. In the announcement, Medium outlined several different revenue-generating opportunities for publishers who sign up for the beta test:
- Advertising through promoted stories
- Sponsored content through native advertising
- Member-supported publishing (subscriptions)
“We’re inviting the world’s leading publishers to apply to be part of the Medium revenue beta group. By taking part, you’ll access all-new monetization tools to support your writing so you can focus on moving thinking forward,” said Medium.
While the program is in beta, “qualified professional publishers” must apply to be included. Four publishers are already working with Medium to test the new monetization tools: The Awl, Pacific Standard, The Ringer and Electric Literature.
Medium will consider three primary criteria in determining which publishers make the cut:
- Content should be meaningful and original.
- Publishers should have a high volume of loyal, engaged readers.
- Publishers should demonstrate a passion for experimenting with digital revenue.
For publishers interested in offering subscriptions, Medium has developed a suite of tools to engage readers so they can support their favorite publishers. The program will start with a membership program where readers can contribute a fixed amount each month. Publishers set the membership price and can “lock” certain stories or features and offer exclusive content only to their subscribers.
To start, publishers can set one monthly membership fee (no tiers yet) in $1 increments. Medium recommends that publishers price their monthly membership fee between $5 to $10. For the first 500 members or subscribers, publishers will only pay Medium for the payment processing fee. For members and subscribers above that threshold, Medium will retain 20% of the monthly subscription fee. Payments will be processed via Stripe.
In addition to offering exclusive content, publishers on Medium can provide additional benefits and perks to its members including event invitations and promotions, and they can engage in members-only conversations on locked posts. Medium said it will continue to collaborate with publishers to determine what additional features it may add in the future.
“Publishers, especially independent publishers, are facing a challenging environment, and we want to create an environment that allows them to attract revenue streams that are user friendly, that don’t junk up their user experience,” said Edward Lichty, head of corporate development and strategy at Medium in a recent Forbes article. “The goal was to create a revenue stream for publishers that we think they desperately need.”
We don’t know about you, but we are tired of hearing that print is dead and publishing is a losing proposition. While our delivery mechanisms for information have certainly changed, our desire for information has not. In fact, it continues to grow, so it is exciting to see startups like Medium as well as more traditional outlets experimenting with new publishing platforms and revenue-generating opportunities.
We particularly like that Medium is offering a three-pronged approach rather than a one-size-fits-all solution. This gives qualifying publishers choices for how they want to monetize their content on Medium. They can try one or all three to find the mix that works best for them. At the same time, Medium has constructed a revenue share model for itself to help ensure its longevity and sustainability. We hope this experiment will be successful, and we’ll report back as Medium shares the results of its beta test.