Publications are dying? Yet there are 20,000 of them, and I’ve just started 5

Nikki Waterson
Published in
5 min readOct 10, 2021


Am I an idiot? Or is there an indie boom happening?

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Here’s what we know

  1. TopPub is an external website that lists every publication on Medium, and as of checking this on 7th October 2021, there are 20,017 publications.
  2. According to the Active Publications FAQ article by Casey Botticello published in January 2020, there were ‘over 15,000’ publications back then.
  3. Given that was 21 months ago, that’s an approximate growth of 238 publications a month.
  4. Smedian is an excellent resource for checking active publications; however, they need to be listed by the owner. Smedian, as of publishing this article, lists 1515 publications.
  5. Meanwhile, J.J. Pryor, in his article How Big is Your Piece of the $2 Million Medium Pie? Estimated at the time of writing (August 2020), there were about 175,000 earning writers on Medium.

So if we even just use the exact figures from 2020 (and speaking approximately as I can’t confirm the number of earning writers), let’s say 175,000 writers had created 15,000 publications. We’re excluding readers and non-earning writers — because these are the figures we have.