Medium Chases Revenue With Promoted Stories; Adds Subscriptions

  • Advertisers can pay to promote their articles more broadly
  • Publishers can choose to host their entire sites on Medium

Medium, the 4-year-old online publishing platform from Twitter Inc. co-founder Ev Williams, now has a plan to pay the bills.

The company will make money in much the same way Twitter and Facebook Inc. do -- by allowing brands to post stories and pay for them to be promoted to a wider audience through prominent placement in the news feed. Alphabet Inc.’s Nest and Intel Corp. are among the first advertisers taking this approach to reach Medium’s 25 million unique readers.

The blogging site also plans to extend its tools for media publishers, so they can host their entire website within Medium, helping the companies save money on technology costs. The Awl and Pacific Standard are among new publications coming to Medium starting Tuesday. Publishers can also choose to put some stories behind a members-only paywall.

“We’re really dialing back the Medium branding,” said Edward Lichty, head of corporate development and strategy at Medium. For publishers, “It’s much more flexible than it has been, but still really stable and robust.”

On Medium, people can publish and annotate long-form articles and follow networks of authors. The company, backed by investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners and Google Ventures, last raised $57 million in September at a $400 million valuation, according to a person familiar with the matter.

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