Jun 14, 2017

Publishers flee Medium amid business model changes

Publishers are leaving Medium, the crowdsourced-based content platform, amid business changes that make It harder for them to make money. Most notably in the last month, Bill Simmon's sports/culture blog The Ringer moved to Vox and Condé Nast's tech blog BackChannel moved to Wired.

Why it matters: Medium's long-term solution to this problem is to wait until its subscription model is out of beta and revenues will go up. But their interim strategy of retaining publishers despite having no short-term revenue plan is failing. Medium's struggle is shared by other internet publishers struggling to figure out how to build a sustainable long-term subscription model while ad revenues collapse in the wake of Facebook and Google's dominance.

It's been hard for publishers to make money on the platform since Medium announced in January that it was pivoting its business model away from ad-supported content towards a subscription model. A lot of these publishers initially joined Medium last year because of the ad revenue cut (among other benefits), but with Medium's subscription-supported revenue model still in beta, publishers haven't seen short-term benefits of staying within the platform.

Who's ditched:

  • June 9: BackChannel: "In the time since Backchannel launched, Medium has shifted its business strategy, and it's no longer as focused on helping publications like ours profit," BackChannel Editor Jessi Hempel said in a blog post.
  • May 30:The Ringer: "This partnership allows us to remain independent while leveraging two of the things that Vox Media is great at: sales and technology," The Ringer founder Bill Simmons in a statement.
  • May 16: Pacific Standard editor-in-chief Nicholas Jackson says it's building its own site to migrate to that will better drive subscription growth, in an email to Poynter.
  • May 10: Film School Rejects: "We'd love to be able to do this all without any ads, but there's no money in that," publisher Neil Miller said in a statement.
  • April 1: War is Boring announced that it left Medium in April to use its own proprietary platform.

Go deeper

Italy reports lowest number of new coronavirus cases since February

Italy’s aerobatic team Frecce Tricolori fly over Milan in Duomo Square on May 25. Photo: Francesco Prandoni/Getty Images

The Italian government reported 300 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, the lowest daily increase since Feb. 29.

Why it matters: Italy, the first country in Europe to implement a nationwide lockdown after emerging as a hotspot in March, appears to have finally weathered its coronavirus outbreak. Italy has reported nearly 33,000 total deaths, the third-highest total behind the U.S. and U.K.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 5,453,784 — Total deaths: 345,886 — Total recoveries — 2,191,310Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,651,254 — Total deaths: 97,850 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: Top Boris Johnson aide defends himself after allegations he broke U.K. lockdown — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Joe Biden makes first public appearance in over two months

Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden made his first in-person appearance in over two months on Monday to honor Memorial Day by laying a wreath at a Delaware veterans park, AP reports.

Why it matters: Biden, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, has taken the unprecedented step of campaigning from his home during the coronavirus pandemic, ever since canceling a rally in Cleveland on March 10.