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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

25 mins ago - World

China sanctions Wilbur Ross, 5 other Americans over Hong Kong warnings

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Chinese government imposed sanctions on Monday against six Americans, including former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, in response to an advisory from the Biden administration warning businesses of the increased risks of operating in Hong Kong.

Why it matters: It's the latest example of China responding furiously to U.S. attempts to shed light on human rights abuses in places like Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet, which Chinese officials routinely condemn as "interference" in domestic affairs.

Updated 56 mins ago - Sports

Live updates: Olympics formally kick off with "sobering" opening ceremony

Naomi Osaka lights the Olympic cauldron. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

After a year-long delay, the Tokyo Olympics are finally underway. But this year's largely spectator-less opening ceremony is a "sobering" event focused primarily on the athletes.

The latest: The cauldron in Tokyo has been lit, formally kicking off the Olympic Games. Tennis star Naomi Osaka had the honor of carrying the Olympic torch to light the cauldron.

2 hours ago - Sports

Cleveland Indians change name to "Guardians"

The Cleveland Indians baseball team announced Friday that it will change its name to the "Guardians," following years of activism and protests against a moniker considered offensive by many Native Americans.

Why it matters: It's the first time the team will change its name since 1915, a move that comes in the wake of the nationwide racial reckoning that began with the murder of George Floyd.