Medium announced a new $5 monthly "membership" model on Wednesday aimed at serving its core audience of influencers with high-level crowdsourced content and eventually, paid journalism. The key word here is "crowdsourced," meaning that consumers aren't paying for journalism exclusively; they're paying $5 a month for some journalism alongside insights/text from a large selection of influencers. That's half of what music lovers pay monthly on Spotify for crowdsourced playlists.

The move comes after a major restructuring in January, which included 50 layoffs. In a blog post at that time, Medium said it needed a "new model" for its business because it had only made "incremental improvements on the ad-driven publishing model, not the transformative model we were aiming for."

Why it matters: That ad-driven model is something most publishers are grappling with, because it inevitably rewards scale over loyalty, which is hard to monetize unless you are Google or Facebook. Should Medium's new approach work, it would be one the first to monetize crowdsourced news and insights, but only time will tell if consumers will find enough value in crowdsourced posts and if publishers will find enough value in a paywalled audience.

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25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's China plan: Bring allies

Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Joe Biden is planning to confront China across the globe, embracing some of President Trump's goals but rejecting his means.

The big picture: By starting a trade war with China, Trump has fundamentally altered the U.S.- China relationship — and forced both Republicans and Democrats to accept a more confrontational approach towards Beijing.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022 — Trump's testing czar: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests
  2. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases
  3. Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  4. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.

In pictures: Storm Zeta churns inland after lashing Louisiana

Debris on the streets as then-Hurricane Zeta passes over in Arabi, Louisiana, on Oct. 28. It's the third hurricane to hit Louisiana in about two months, after Laura and Delta. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Zeta has killed at least two people, triggered flooding, downed powerlines and caused widespread outages since making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday.

The big picture: A record 11 named storms have made landfall in the U.S. this year. Zeta is the fifth named storm to do so in Louisiana in 2020, the most ever recorded. It weakened t0 a tropical storm early Thursday, as it continued to lash parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle with heavy rains and strong winds.