Two important things to consider here, Betta.
First, we never worry about “compensation or having to justify an expense by earning a break-even revenue” when we pay our $9.99 a month Netflix bill. That’s a subscription service we pay for with zero thought to making a business out of it or earning our money back from using it. If we’re honest, a disturbing percentage of us likely invest more time in watching Netflix than we do writing. Why not enjoy Medium as entertainment/education, rather than focusing on it as a business? Just food for thought there.
Second, when we think subscription services we think of Netflix and Spotify. But a much better comparison for Medium would be Wordpress.com. That’s a popular blogging platform, just like Medium. Here’s their subscription service prices and benefits:
Look at all the stuff you get for only $2.99 a month. The custom domain name and design customization is worth every penny of that. The rest is gravy. If people want more bells and whistles they can pay more, but there is no obligation to do so. And there is a free option where the platform makes its money by placing ads. Medium is a superior platform to WordPress in so many ways. But you can bet Ev & co are going to see WordPress as their competition — and NOT Netflix — and price their subscription service accordingly. We’re all presuming a fee like $9.99 a month because that’s what we pay for entertainment subscription services. But blogging platforms are in a whole different ballpark. Let’s all just wait and see what Ev brings to the table.