I like to read on my phone. In fact, it is the only reason I forsake ergonomics and bought an iPhone 6 plus. I truly like to take some minutes, several times a day, and enjoy a good article or two. I almost only read on Medium because it is the best reading experience I know but mostly, mostly, because there are no fucking ads.
Ads on the internet are a disgrace. They are 20th century mongrels. They look like your divorced uncle on his first date. I cringe every time I am reading an article in a publication where the people who write expect to be paid and I see ads interrupting the article every 2 or 3 paragraphs. A good written piece is like music. It has melody, harmony, its own rhythm. I am a musician and songwriter myself so I can imagine what the journalist who wrote the article feels when she sees her article defaced and mixed with intrusive, mostly irrelevant ads.
I know that there are possibilities to buy subscriptions to very decent digital publications like The Economist (I actually am a subscriber) but this is cannot be the future of digital content. In order to have a decent reading app in three platforms you need a team of developers and designers, 10–12 of them. Not everyone can afford this and if it is the way to go, this model makes it impossible for niche publications or independent writers to make a decent living. I also like to have multiple and complementary sources of information so it is impractical for me to pay for 10–15 subscriptions.
I believe there is a better way, Your Friends @ Medium: allow a 3rd publishing option besides “public” and “unlisted”. That option should be “premium”. Charge me 10 bucks a month for access to premium content. Take a 20% for you and then split the 8 bucks remaining among the premium publishers I read, based on how many minutes of premium content I read that month. This way Medium is still a meritocracy, I can still discover new voices and curate my feed, but I also know that people are making a living by informing and entertaining me. Implementing this solution is trivial for you and can truly change the publishing industry for the better.
So Ev, will you take my money and improve my reading experience?
[Final note] So, if you think a Premium Medium is a great idea, we are building just that for audio. We already have a platform for audio blogging which basically takes the Medium experience to your ears and we are building the premium system I just described for it.
Greetings from Brussels,