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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

Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court rejects Trump's attempt to shield documents from Jan. 6 committee

Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

The Supreme Court rejected on Wednesday night a bid by former President Trump to block the release of documents and records from his administration to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

Why it matters: Trump asked the Supreme Court to step in and block the release of the documents last month after a panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously denied his attempt to prevent the committee from obtaining the materials.

Senate Republicans block voting rights bill

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, walks to the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 18, 2022. Photo: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Republicans blocked Democrats' voting rights legislation from coming to a final vote on Wednesday in what was largely viewed as a doomed effort from the start.

Why it matters: The failed vote underscores the Democratic Party's current uphill battle to pass sweeping legislation in a 50-50 Senate.

Updated 27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden says Russia likely to invade Ukraine

President Biden addressed the brewing conflict between Russia and Ukraine during a press briefing Wednesday, saying of Russian President Vladimir Putin, "my guess is he will move in."

Why it matters: U.S. officials have issued a series of warnings about Russia's threatening military buildup on the border with Ukraine, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying in Kyiv earlier Wednesday that Russia could invade "on very short notice."