10–10–17 UPDATE: The Medium Partner Program is now open to everyone. Join the program here.
Today we’re launching the first step of an exciting new phase at Medium.
We strongly believe that quality content needs to be paid for by consumers — not advertisers — so creators can do their best work, and to align the incentives of everyone involved. So, since March, we’ve been experimenting with our subscription paywall and putting more and more great stories behind it. But that’s only a drop in the bucket compared to the thousands of fantastic stories published on Medium every day. And, though Medium is an open publishing platform, we haven’t enabled a way for most of our writers to participate in the economics.
Starting today, we are sending a small group of writers and publications on Medium our first batch of invitations to our updated Partner Program. We’ll be sending more over time, and you can learn how to get on the invite list at the end of this post. But first, some details.
When you join the program, you will have the option to publish your story to Medium members only and get paid based on engagement. Your content will still be distributed to your followers, discoverable through search, the Medium home page, and our apps. Note: We have recently switched our paywall from “no access” to a “metered” one, meaning non-members will still be able to read a limited amount of locked stories each month.
How does this all work?
For the creators in the program, each month you will be paid based on the level of engagement your stories get from Medium members. Essentially, we look at the engagement of each individual member and allocate their monthly subscription fee based on that engagement.
We can’t wait to see the new opportunities the Partner Program creates for writers. But we also recognize that not everyone has the same set of goals when they write on Medium. If you are not interested in making money from your work, nothing changes: Medium remains free and open. You can create an account, write directly on Medium, publish your work, and share it broadly…all for free.
These are just the early days of what we consider a grand experiment. Imagine a day when anyone with the skills and willingness to put in the effort can write something useful, insightful, or moving and be compensated based on its value to others. There is a lot we need to figure out to make this work right. But we are convinced that by joining forces, we can make a new economic model for quality content. We hope you’ll join us in this experiment.
If you are interested and did not get one of the first invitations, don’t worry — more are coming soon. To make sure you’re on the list please join the Partner Program waitlist. In the meantime, check out our FAQ (learn more about becoming a Medium member here). And if you have questions or feedback about the program, email us at email@example.com. We’re listening.