Medium

Publishing platform, Medium is removing its paywall in a bid to bring in more new readers who click on Medium article links on Twitter. The platform which launched in August 2012 has a curation of articles by of both professional and amateur people plus publishers and exclusive blogs.

Medium was created by Evan Williams, Twitter co-founder as a way to publish articles longer than the then 140 character limit Twitter had. He has since stepped down from its board after serving for 12 years.

The articles were free until in early 2017 when Medium announced a $5 per month or $50 per year membership program that gave readers access to in-depth and well-researched explainers with insightful perspectives. Authors now get paid a flat amount per article based on how many claps they get.



With the paid articles, readers got exclusive content, improved bookmark section and audio narrations of popular stories. Lots of publications were launched or joined the platform including Backchannel and The Ringer which have now left to Wired and Vox Media respectively.

Medium was no longer focused on helping publications like ours profit.

How does it work?

Twitter is an important source of traffic for Medium and them removing the paywall will work in their favour since the articles will be free to read. At the same time offer access to its other features for new and old readers coming from Twitter hoping that they’ll eventually convert to paid readers. It has worked for some major news organizations such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Economist.

What’s next?


Ev Williams explained that compensation won’t be affected for writers who depend on paid readership as this is determined by paying members which will still be counted as long as they’re logged in. He continued to say that Medium would be on the lookout to see what happens to its paid subscription base – the program could be changed if impacts it negatively

Medium also launched a new tech and science publication, One Zero that joins its other four new flagship digital magazines and more to come as it charts its way forward based on the subscription business model while increasing payouts to its partner program.

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