Interviews Medium 700k Theverge

Interviews Medium 700k Theverge

In July of last year, the social media network Medium made a big change: it switched from a freemium model, where anyone could read articles but only paying members could write them, to a metered paywall model, where anyone could read a certain number of articles per month for free, but beyond that, they would need to pay $5 per month to keep reading.

The goal was to find a way to make money that didn’t involve ads, and to date, the paywall seems to be working: the company says it now has 700,000 paying members, which is up from 600,000 in January.

But while Medium has been able to get people to pay for its content, it’s still struggling with one key thing: getting them to actually read the articles that are behind the paywall. That’s a problem that Medium’s head of product, Sachin Dev Duggal, wants to solve.

In an interview with The Verge, Duggal acknowledged that the paywall has been a tough sell for some people. “I think a lot of people were just not used to the idea of paying for content,” he said. “Content has always been free on the internet.”

But Duggal is convinced that people will pay for good content, and he believes that Medium has that. In the year since the paywall was introduced, Medium has published articles from well-known writers like Andrew Sullivan, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Malcolm Gladwell.

To get people to actually read those articles, Medium is testing out a new feature that allows users to pay to “check out” an article. The idea is that, if you’re not sure if an article is going to be worth your time, you can pay a small amount of money (usually around $1) to read it without having to commit to a monthly subscription.

The feature is still in its early stages, and Duggal said that it’s too soon to say whether or not it’s working. But he’s hopeful that it will be a success, and that it will convince more people to sign up for a paid subscription.

“I think what we’re trying to do is just make it a no-brainer for people to pay for content,” he said.

Sullivan, Coates, and Gladwell may be well-known writers, but they’re not the only ones who are publishing on Medium. The platform has also become a popular destination for so-called “long-form” journalism, and a new crop of writers is using it to tell in-depth stories that couldn’t be told in traditional media outlets.

One of those writers is Antonio García Martínez, a former Facebook employee who is now a contributing writer at Wired. In February, he published an article on Medium about his experience working at the social network, and it quickly became one of the most-read stories on the platform.

García Martínez said that he was drawn to Medium because of its simplicity. “It’s just a blank canvas,” he said. “You can write whatever you want, however you want.”

Another attraction of Medium, he said, is that it allows him to reach a different audience than the one he’s used to reaching with his writing. “On Medium, I’m not competing with the noise of Facebook and Twitter,” he said. “I can just write and people can find me if they’re interested.”

García Martínez is just one of many writers who are using Medium to tell in-depth stories. In recent months, the platform has been home to articles about everything from the opioid crisis to the #MeToo movement.

And as more and more writers turn to Medium to tell their stories, the platform is slowly but surely becoming a more essential part of the media ecosystem.


Medium has come a long way in the past year, and it shows no signs of slowing down. With a growing roster of well-known writers and a new focus on long-form journalism, the platform is well on its way to becoming a key player in the media landscape.


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