Listen to stories anytime, anywhere. Audio is now on iOS.

Alex Benzer
The Medium Blog
Published in
3 min readMay 16, 2022

Today, following the success of audio on the Medium website, we’re rolling out the feature to our iOS app. Making it easy to soak up new ideas is the heart of Medium’s mission — and now that’s more convenient than ever. Just grab your iPhone, hit the Listen button, and multi-task away (or kick back on your couch, we won’t judge).

We’ve been blown away by your enthusiasm since we introduced audio a little over a month ago. We’ve learned a lot, too. Writers continue to use audio to proofread their stories, while readers can breeze through their reading lists as they listen at work or around the house. We’ve also heard from readers who find listening to be an easier way to absorb information. Now, they can take that same experience on the go with the improved iPhone app.

The new Listen feature on mobile and desktop is powered in part by AI text-to-speech technology, which we integrated with the help of Vamsee Chamakura and his team at Speechify. We aim to continue working with them to expand audio on Medium: that means introducing new product experiences, language options, and voice diversity as it becomes available on their platform.

What else would you like to see us do with audio? How are you using Listen mode now? Sound off (on?) in the comments!

Listener FAQ

Is the audio player available in the mobile apps?

The player is now available in the iOS mobile app on the story screen. If you don’t see it yet, try updating to the newest version in the app store. As for Android, we’re looking to bring audio to that app too. We don’t have clear timing for that, but we’ll be sure to let you know when we do.

Why don’t I see the “Listen” button on a story?

The feature currently supports English text, so the “Listen” button may not appear if the post is not written in English.

Can I change the narrator’s voice and speed?

Yes. To change the playback speed, tap the “1x” button on the audio player. To change the narrator’s voice, tap the “…” button on the audio player, and then choose “Select a voice.”

Can I save stories to a list that automatically plays them aloud?

Not at this time. We’ve heard from many of you that it’s a feature you’d like to see, so it’s something we’re keeping in mind for future product updates.

Writer FAQs

How will this feature affect my earnings?

We’ll factor listen time into the payout calculations for eligible writers with metered stories.

Can I narrate my own stories?

Not currently. We’ve received great pieces of feedback during the initial website launch, including the ability for writers to narrate their own stories. It’s something we’ll consider for future product updates.

Can non-members listen to my metered stories?

The same paywall rules apply to listening as to reading. Only members will be able to listen to stories that are behind the paywall.

Can I disable this feature for my stories?

Because we believe that text-to-speech will help more people gain access to great writing and ideas on Medium, disabling the feature is not possible at this time.

Will I be able to see how many people listened to my stories, or who listened?

Not yet, but as we advance this feature, we may provide more listening insights so you can learn more about your audience.