Mar 22, 2017

Medium wants to be the Spotify of digital content

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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Acting Navy head apologizes for calling fired captain "stupid"

Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly testifies on Capitol Hill in December. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly apologized Monday for calling Capt. Brett Crozier, the ousted commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, "too naïve or too stupid" over his letter pleading for help following a coronavirus outbreak onboard.

The big picture: His apology came after President Trump told a news briefing earlier Monday he would "get involved" following a leak of Modly's remarks to the ship's crew on Crozier, who has since been diagnosed with coronavirus, which were obtained by CNN.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 1,346,299 — Total deaths: 74,679 — Total recoveries: 276,636Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 367,507— Total deaths: 10,908 — Total recoveries: 19,598Map.
  3. 2020 update: Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks governor's attempt to delay in-person primary voting delayed until June.
  4. States latest: West Coast states send ventilators to New York and other states with more immediate need — Data suggest coronavirus curve may be flattening in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
  5. World update: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to intensive care as coronavirus symptoms worsen.
  6. Stocks latest: The S&P 500 closed up 7% on Monday, while the Dow rose more than 1,500 points.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Former Vatican treasurer George Pell's sexual abuse convictions overturned

Cardinal George Pell at the County Court in Melbourne, Australia, in 2019. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

George Pell, the former Vatican treasurer, has won his appeal and had his child sexual abuse convictions overturned by Australia's High Court.

Why it matters: The cardinal became last year the highest-ranking Catholic Church official to go to trial and be convicted for sex abuse. But the High Court's ruling means he can be immediately released from prison, where he was serving a six-year sentence.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - World