Medium's strategy shift comes as surprise to revenue partners

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

It looks like Medium rather botched the effective end of its publisher program, which included a beta of its ad-driven revenue service. Elizabeth Spiers is one of the people behind There is Only R, an online mag about all things VR/AR/MR – and it was part of the publisher program, which is effectively killed by yesterday’s announcement. And nobody from Medium bothered to tell her.


It would have been nice if someone from the company would have reached out about this though. I still haven’t haven’t heard from them, and only found out this was happening because I read about it on the Internet. Move fast, break things, etc.–but be professional, too.

She’s not the only one, according to Politico:

Five members of the revenue beta program told POLITICO that they did not receive any advance notice of Medium’s change in strategy before Williams’ public announcement. One publishing partner only learned about the pivot after reading an article about it on the tech news site Recode.

While one could argue that relying on a “beta” for revenue is daft – the clue is in the name, after all – this does show a fundamental disrespect for those Medium was notionally partnering.


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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.