…ectfully submit that a sub-only or bundle-only model will work no better than an ad-only model.
So I could see Medium performing other services to bring in more revenue from more sources. I long ago wrote a business plan for a service that would arrange speaking engagements for authors and others with a Patreon/Kickstarter model that would mitigate risk. (That is, we set the event only if we sell enough tickets.) In that sense, Medium could act as an agent for its writers.
Like every media company (in their dreams), Medium could act as an agent for ancillary products: movies, shows, etc.
I would also encourage you to look at commerce: I’d gladly buy books via a Medium →Amazon link if …
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“…it would enhance the user experience without encumbering it the way subscriptions do. (It reminds me of Google’s original search ads, which were literally direct responses that helped users find what they were looking for.) This would be a win-win-win for every Medium stakeholder, with everyone’s incentives aligned. It would make Medium a true platform, creating more value than it extracts. At the same time, it would also remain a democratizing platform for all of its users.
“That democratizing potential is something once promised by every property on the free and open web, but the ad-based business model required to sustain ‘free and open’ naturally accrues to the scale advantage. It would be a crowning achievement for Ev were he to find the product/market fit that not only sustained Medium, but also preserved its free and open nature.
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