Starting today, more than a dozen independent sites are migrating to publishing platform Medium, including The Awl, Pacific Standard and The Bold Italic.
Other sites making the move are The Black List and Femsplain, while four others are in the process of getting hosted by the 3-year-old site started by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, including Monday Note and NewCo Shift, a new business media brand from John Battelle’s NewCo.
Time Inc.’s Money, Fortune and Atlantic Media’s National Journal will start providing original content for Medium as well.
The migration all started when Medium announced in February that one of America’s best-known sportswriters, Bill Simmons, would launch his new online sports publication, The Ringer, on the platform.
Medium now offers design tools for publishers to customize their sites, custom URLs and a migration tool to make it easier to move a site to Medium, the Verge reports.
The platform has signed up with advertising partners like Nest, Bose and Intel to create native advertisements in the form of “Promoted story” ad units at the bottom of posts from sites published by Medium. When readers click on the ad, they’ll be taken to a brand’s “story” on Medium.
Medium also promises to cross-promote stories published on the platform across its network, offering a traffic boost to these small, independent sites. Aside from splitting ad revenue, the features are free for publishers.
According to the Verge, the company is planning on launching a membership system so partner sites can restrict some content behind a paywall.
However, Medium's site does not allow banner ads, so sites like The Awl, which rely on traditional ads, will have to give up that revenue in place of Medium's new revenue-generating tools. But for sites like The Awl Network’s Splitsider, risking that revenue stream isn’t tempting enough to move it to Medium.