Ev Williams’ Medium Unveils New Plan to Start Making Money

The online self-publishing company launches memberships and options for publishers to host commercial content from brands

Last Updated: April 5, 2016 @ 7:23 AM

Online publishing service Medium unveiled two ways for publishers to start making money off their posts there, as it also listed companies, including magazine heavyweight Time Inc., that plan to move publications onto the platform.

As part of a test program it calls a “revenue beta,” publishers can offer paid memberships to readers and have the option to host commercial content from brands. Medium also said that online publications such as The Awl and Lorne Michaels‘ Above Average would be hosting their content on the platform, and that Time Inc.’s Money and Fortune would launch native offshoots there.

Medium was created by Twitter co-founder Ev Williams in 2012 as a destination for longer, deeper discourse than 140-character tweets.

Since then, the service has grown quickly and become a platform of choice in some high-profile tiffs: Amazon chose Medium as the place to air complaints about a New York Times exposé last year, while ride-hailing app Uber refuted a BuzzFeed article about its safety record on Medium. In addition, former ESPN heavyweight Bill Simmons plans to publish his new website, The Ringer, there.

In a blog post Tuesday, Medium said certain publishers can opt in to two sources of revenue. The first it called Promoted Stories, which appends a brand-created story at the end of a Medium post. Initial brand partners include Bose, SoFi, Nest, Intel and Volpi Foods.

The second was simply called Membership. A limited number of publications will put exclusive content and other perks behind a paywall, a monthly fee that goes directly to the publication. Serious Eats, True Magazine and Great Jones Street will all be offering member-only content on Medium.

The company also unveiled tools for publishers, like allowing customization of headers and color, and the ability to transfer existing blogs or websites onto Medium.

The full list of publications moving onto Medium were The Awl, Pacific Standard, Electric Literature, Franklin Leonard‘s The Black List, Femsplain, FilmSchoolRejects, The Bold Italic, Monday Note, NewCo Shift, The Banana Boat (by The Infatuation), MEL and Lorne Michaels‘s Above Average and The Kicker.

And the following companies planned to move publications on the platform soon: Time Inc.’s Money and Fortune Medium-native offshoots, The Hairpin, Women and Hollywood, Go Into the Story (by Scott Myers), Dangerous Minds, War Is Boring, and The Evergreen Review.

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