More on Medium’s Partner Program

Is the Medium model going to generate enough money for publishers?

Update 26 October 2017: This post has been bumped out of ‘Medium member’ status by the Medium folks. Apparently I forgot one of the guidelines is that posts that are principally about Medium cannot be made ‘Medium member’ posts.

Well, I guess that contravenes the logic that I laid out below, but they are calling the shots. And now anyone can read this post. No biggie.

I received word today that Medium has accepted the Work Futures publication into the Partner Program. As part of my exploration of that new approach to publishing, I am designating a number of older posts as members-only, and I am likely to make many of the new ones members-only, too.

I signed up as a member when the program was first announced, willingly paying $5 per month to get access to a broader array of writing, and to help support other authors.

There are a few tricky issues — for example, if any of my contributors would like to designate their Work Futures pieces as members-only I’ll have to direct their slice of the funds their way, manually. At present, there is no automated support for that use case. At present, I am not doing that, but I am open to trying it.

However, so far the amount of money has been very modest. While the $200 (more or less) I made last period was better than the average member of the partners program, it is not very much, really. I suppose that as I go forward and make more of my posts and those at Work Futures members-only it should continue to grow.

I have to wonder if the foundational model is a problem, though. I’d make more if 100 subscribers paid $5 to Work Futures, directly every month, instead of relying on the strange arithmetic of ‘claps’. Basically, perhaps a Patreon or Subchannel model might generate more cash flow.

And then there is the question of what to publish to all Medium, or to just the paying members. Like this post, for example. Yes, I’d like as many as possible to see it, but I’d appreciate getting paid for it, too. In this case, I decided that only Medium members care enough about these issues to read something like this, so, I clicked the ‘Medium members’ option.

More to follow.

Written by

Founder, Work Futures. Editor, GigaOm. My obsession is the ecology of work, and the anthropology of the future.

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