Medium announced today a total revamp of how writers are compensated under the Medium Partner Program.
While the changes will not be implemented until October 28th, writers did learn quite a bit from the announcement. Changes will be affecting both the underlying calculation of how writers in the Medium Partner Program are compensated, in addition to the reporting methodology of article statistics.
What Stats/Data Points Will Be Used to Calculate Medium Earnings?
According to the Medium Announcement:
- Earnings will be based on the reading time of Medium members.
- Reading time from non-members will be counted too, once non-members become members.
- Earnings will be updated daily, not weekly.
- Story stats will show new metrics to explain your earnings.
- Earnings will be updated daily but payments will still occur monthly.
Clearly, there are a number of changes being implemented. The key changes, which affect writer earnings (not reporting methodology), are summarized below for both the old and new earnings calculation system:
Old Earnings Calculation — Factors That Affect Earnings:
New Earnings Calculation — Factors That Affect Earnings:
Ultimately, it is hard to say how this will affect total earnings. Some writers believe this will put writers of shorter content (like poetry) at a disadvantage. However, I’m guessing Medium has several unannounced changes to their pay algorithm (to prevent fraud or abuse) and I’m guessing that article completion/page interaction will be used to keep earnings for longer articles on par with shorter articles. But we will have to see!
It is also interesting that Medium is somewhat conceding that claps/applause were not an effective enough indicator of article engagement/reader satisfaction.
Regardless, there are some major changes in store for Medium writers in the next few earnings periods.
What do you think? Are you happy with the proposed changes? Do you think read time is a better proxy than claps? Let me know in the comments below!
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Casey Botticello is a partner at Black Edge Consulting. Black Edge Consulting is a strategic communications firm, specializing in online reputation management, digital marketing, and crisis management. Prior to founding Black Edge Consulting, he worked for BGR Group, a bipartisan lobbying and strategic communications firm.
Casey is the founder of the Cryptocurrency Alliance, a Super PAC dedicated to cryptocurrency and blockchain advocacy. He is a graduate of The University of Pennsylvania, where he received his B.A. in Urban Studies.