Medium is pivoting to a subscription model. They’re calling it an “upgrade to your Medium experience” but it’s still too soon for anyone to tell just how true that will turn out to be.
What we can say for sure though, is that it’s not remotely surprising. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know the company not only laid off 50 members of its staff, but also shut down both its New York and DC offices just last month.
The layoffs were framed by CEO Ev Williams as “renewing Medium’s focus,” in a letter where he also said “Medium found itself straying down the path of least resistance, where legacy models reside.” A really long way, in our opinion, to say that the money was simply not coming in as expected.
— Matthew Ball (@ballmatthew) February 3, 2017
So yeah. Medium needs money. As any business does. Medium is chasing the money. As any business should. $132 million cannot go to waste after all. Will this work? No one can say for sure right now. But given that no one is really sure which way to go as far as digital media revenue models are concerned, these experiments are necessary to figure out the future. Unless we all want to sit down and fold our arms shouting about how “video is the future.”