The site currently has 90 million unique users each month, and publishes 20,000 articles per day, mostly from writers creating one-off articles. It recently moved away from selling advertising as a revenue model to a subscription paywall, in which readers are asked for money if they see more than three stories per month. […]
The investment will go into Williams’ effort to make Medium a bit more like a vast, thoughtful magazine. What started as a longform blogging platform is looking more and more like The Atlantic crossed with Wikipedia. Williams has a corp of editors who are paying fees or commissions to writers for high-quality material, and then keeping that high-quality content behind the paywall. While the majority of Medium’s writers are amateurs writing for coffee money, the professional work — which feels a lot like the journalism you’d see in a monthly magazine — will get much of the investment, he said.
(Some additional, unverified—but I trust them—stats from Twitter user Kontra add that Medium has around 20 million articles across the entire site.)
If Medium is to truly become a “vast, thoughtful magazine” then I think the days of using Medium as an online home for your identity and writing are stone cold dead. Find a new platform—many already are. Starting a blog on Medium today is the equivalent to buying a deed for a house that is already on fire.
Which, so long as you know what you’re getting into, is fine I guess. At least Medium is finally acknowledging that Medium is the brand, not you. In which case, a high-quality, diversely-written, and digital magazine sounds sort of compelling. With enough contributors and content, the law of large numbers suggests Medium editors could curate a fresh batch of good reads every day. Will it be good enough for people to pay, though?
It’s gotten to the point that
medium.com has joined
linkedin.com as a URL that elicits Pavlovian-driven dread whenever there’s something there I want to read. Yet, regularly, there is something there I want to read, which at least for now seems to be one of the few positive things Medium has going for it.