Medium Expands Partner Program to All Publishers and Content Creators

Words still matter. That’s what Medium CEO Ev Williams wrote on October 10 when he announced the publishing platform was opening up its Partner

Subscription News: Medium Expands Partner Program to All Publishers and Content Creators

Source: Medium

Words still matter. That’s what Medium CEO Ev Williams wrote on October 10 when he announced the publishing platform was opening up its Partner Program to all publishers and content creators. The invitation-only program began this summer, along with the company’s new logo, design and its clap system which pays writers based on the attention their content receives. At launch, Medium called the Partner Program a ‘grand experiment,’ testing subscribers’ willingness to pay Medium for content which it, in turn, would share with writers.

Williams created Medium five years ago to address readers’ hunger for quality content in a media landscape overflowing with fiction and noise clamoring for our attention. He called it the attention economy.

‘What our experience at Medium has taught us-or, really, confirmed-is that great ideas can change the world when you create a welcoming space for them. That diverse perspectives deepen our understanding of complex issues. And that lots and lots of people have a hunger for depth and knowledge-a hunger that is being underserved,’ Williams said.

‘We also understand better than when we started the systemic issues we need to address. It’s not just about creating great tools for writing. We must also create the right reward systems. The current reward system that drives content online looks like this: Attention = Money,’ added Williams.

Since the start, Williams has said the media and publishing business models are broken, and publishers and content creators are not sufficiently rewarded for quality work. This drives them to other models which rely on clicks and web traffic rather than solid journalism. He reiterated that belief in his recent post.

‘In summary, the system is broken. The free ride is an illusion,’ Williams wrote. ‘It was never free, and it is going nowhere but down.’

Despite the doom and gloom, Williams remains optimistic that readers who want quality journalism will save the day, by subscribing to Medium which allows for a personalized, ad-free experience and puts readers in the driver’s seat. He hopes Mediums newly-expanded Partner Program will be a successful part of that solution. Here’s how it works.

Publishers, writers and content creators register with Medium for free and publish locked stories behind what Medium calls its ‘open paywall’ whenever they want. Subscribers pay $5 a month to access content behind that paywall. Also, with Medium’s metered paywall, readers can get up to three member-only stories each month, so even content locked behind the paywall can be accessed.

Subscription News: Medium Expands Partner Program to All Publishers and Content Creators

Source: Medium

Each Wednesday, Medium provides Partners with a dashboard that shows them how much money they’ve earned for their locked stories. Content creators get paid monthly, based on reading time and member engagement with their stories through Medium’s new clap system. Qualifying content must meet Medium’s editorial guidelines. Medium requires that content be original and non-promotional and racist, violent, harassing and profane content is prohibited.

Writer Nick Blackmon was one of the writers who tested the Partner Program. In his August 30 article, ‘Medium *is* Paying Off,’ Blackmon admitted he was skeptical, even saying he thought Medium was ‘manipulating people.’ After earning $23 for an article he published to Medium, he has changed his mind.

‘They are actually following through, and actually working towards a system that does what they say they are going to do,’ Blackmon wrote.

‘Want to get paid to write? Then write things that people want to read. Want to write things that people want to read? Then put in the work to build a readership and deliver quality content that is entertaining, meaningful, or education,’ said Blackmon.

‘Either way – the platform is here and they are putting their money where their mouth is for the time being,’ he added. ‘So put in the work if it is important to you, and get rewarded for it.’

Though Medium has not disclosed how many subscribers it has, TechCrunch reports that since the subscription program launched in March, the site has seen a 44 percent growth in weekly logged in users. In September, 83 percent of writers who published locked stories received payments, including a payment of $2,279.12 to one author. The average payment was $93.65, says TechCrunch.

Insider Take:

As we’ve said before, we love the philosophy behind what Medium is trying to do. In many ways, the traditional publishing business model is broken, and there is a lot of lousy content cluttering up and crowding out quality content. We want to believe this will work, and we support and respect Williams’ unwavering belief that he’ll find Medium’s sweet spot to support a struggling industry.

However, Williams has tried a variety of business models – branded content, advertising, a subscription model – and nothing has been wildly successful so far. What Williams has going for him is passion and the ability to fish or cut bait. It looks like he’s fishing again. We hope he catches something.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Up Next

Don’t miss the latest subscription news. Sign up for updates now!

Search this site

Upcoming events

Keep ahead of your competition

Register now for our weekly subscription news round-up

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.