Medium Tips Hand On Monetization

Medium, the much-buzzed-about new publishing platform, is preparing to tackle the key issue of monetization, according to a recent BBC interview with founder Evan Williams, who said some of the new products should be ready to roll out by the end of this month.

The new monetization options will not be traditional banner ads, and will probably include strategies for sponsored content, otherwise known as native advertising.

That would put Medium in the same boat as BuzzFeed and The Onion, two online publications that get the majority of their content from native ads.

For publishers who aren’t ready to embrace native ads, Williams also tells the BBC that Medium is considering paid content options including subscriptions, online paywalls or paid memberships.

The monetization push is just the latest in a series of moves intended to make the online publishing platform more attractive to content creators. Last fall, Medium unveiled a number of new features including overhauled apps and a publishing API that enables users write in third-party apps and then publish these directly to Medium.

The changes are beginning to pay off: last month one of America’s best-known sportswriters, Bill Simmons, announced that he is joining forces with Medium to launch his new online sports publication, The Ringer.

Like Simmons’ previous endeavor, Grantland, The Ringer will feature thoughtful long-form sports journalism, making it a good match for Medium, which specializes in text-heavy multimedia content. The publication should launch sometime in the late spring or early summer, according to the partners.

The platform has also formed some other notable partnerships, including with former Wired writer Steven Levy, who launched his tech site Backchannel on Medium.

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