Sorry, we could not find the combination you entered »
Please enter your email and we will send you an email where you can pick a new password.
Reset password:
 

plus

 
Plus Report - By Thomas Baekdal - July 2016

Should Publishers Use Medium?

Shared by Plus subscriber
Charles Abler
(@carlos_abler)
This is Baekdal Plus content. It is shared with you for free by a member. Please reshare it.

With the rise of Medium and its recent push into a more publisher focused model (as opposed to the individual focus it had before) many smaller publishers are asking if Medium should be their new home.

So let's look at that from the perspective of the current media trends.

Before we start, though, I want to point out that the focus of this article is towards small publishers, for two reasons.

So in this article, we are going to look at the strategies for smaller publishers, but there are obviously many elements here that also apply to larger publishers.

Okay?

Medium is awesome, and I would probably use it if I were starting a new publication, but...

When I started publishing online back in 1999, there was only one way to do that. You had to build your own site. The problem with doing that, of course, is that it's incredibly time consuming. Not just building the site itself, but more because of the time it takes every day you want publish something new.

This is a big point of friction. The last thing a journalist or editor wants to spend time on is managing the system. It's like accounting. We all need to do it and it's quite useful once it's done, but we also hate the time we need to spend on it.

This is not as big a problem for large companies. If you are working for a big publisher, you can hire people to do that for you. But as a small publisher, you often have to do all those things yourself.

So, since the early days of digital publishing, small publishers have tried to find platforms, tools or service that could free up their time while providing them with results needed to grow.

In 1999, we saw the rise of Livejournal and Blogger(Ev's previous publishing platform before Medium which was bought by Google in 2003).

In 2003, TypePad and Wordpress came onto the market.

In 2007, we got Tumblr.

In 2012, we got the new version of Squarespace. Squarespace was a web building platform created in 2004, but it wasn't until 2012 before they got it right. The new Squarespace was a revolution in simple, yet advanced, publishing and website building.

And then, of course, we got Medium.

If you are familiar with these platforms, you will notice a bit of a trend. We started out with somewhat simple blogging platforms, but today we are seeing three key elements emerging from it.

Today's world of publishing is a mix of three key things that we must have to succeed. We must have social interactions, because it's the only way that we can grow. Due to the crazy abundance that we see today, people are no longer just going to visit each site manually. We need something else to bind it together.

The writing, of course, is even more important than in the past, because it's what makes us different and distinct. And with this, it is also getting ever more important that people recognize us for the writing itself, rather than other features that we might have.

And the third element is that you have a home, because without a home we end up becoming just one grain of sand amid all the other content that people see. Mind you, this home doesn't necessarily have to be a website, but it needs to feel like a real home that people can turn to.

This, for instance, is one of the problems we have with Facebook. Facebook is incredibly good at driving social interactions. And with Facebook Instant Articles, you might also say they are offering a good platform for writing. But, because of how Facebook is designed, you are just one article in the middle of a constant flowing News Feed with random content.

Take Nieman Journalism Lab's Facebook page. This is the perfect example of a wonderful publication that is being completely devastated by Facebook lack of 'home'. I follow them, but I cannot remember the last time I saw anything from them on Facebook because of all the other noise.

This isn't that big a problem for large publishers, because they can use their much more powerful brand and a much higher volume of articles to take advantage of scale. But small publishers can't do that. We don't have the resources to post 1,200 articles per day (as some of the scale-focused publishers do). Many smaller publishers struggle to even publish one article per day. On this site, for instance, I publish 2-3 articles per week.

This is never going to work on the social platforms. They are not built for us, nor for the type of reader behavior that we are writing for.

So, we need a home. And with a home, I don't just mean a place where we publish our articles. I mean a place that people can choose to go to specifically. A place that makes us distinctly us.

Think about it as the difference between Walmart and a mall. Facebook is like Walmart. It has tons of traffic, but each product is drowned out by the sheer volume of all the other things that are on sale.

A mall is different. In a mall, you also have a lot of options, but each individual store is distinctive and unique. It's a place where you choose to go and when you are in it, you know where you are.

For small publishers this is absolutely critical because we can't do scale.

These three elements are what we need to consider before we can choose the right platform. TypePad was very good at the 'just writing' part. Wordpress started out with just 'the writing' but has expanded into also being 'a great home'. Squarespace is an excellent 'home', and only secondary as the 'writing' part.

But all of these traditional publishing platforms lack the social glue. They don't deliver any good means of getting in touch with people. Tumblr, on the other hand, is really good at the social interactions. But it's a terrible place to call a home and the writing is drowned out by all the noise.

What is interesting about Medium is that it's the first publishing platform that truly tries to master all three areas. It has a strong (although local) social element, in that you can follow not just individual authors/writer/journalists, but also each publication.

It's near perfectly focused on the writing itself, with its super clean and interruption-free interface, which, as an added bonus, works perfectly on mobile.

And, with the new focus on publishers, it's growing to become a great home, due to features like custom domains (which are absolutely critical), custom navigation and branding.

When, for instance, you go to John Battelle's NewCo Shift, you are not just watching a random news feed with algorithmically optimized things. You are in his home because you choose to be there (again, think about Walmart versus the shop in a mall).

This is absolutely brilliant.

But you might have noticed that something is missing from my earlier illustration. It's the money.

In the past, small publishers could survive on standard advertising alone. If you had a semi-popular publication, you would add a number of advertising networks to your site along with maybe some affiliated marketing, and that would be it. You advertising would then support your journalism.

But this reality is long over. The idea that a small publisher can survive on display or programmatic advertising is laughable today. It just doesn't work anymore. The continually declining ad rates per view combined with the terrible low ROI means that only the publishers with a massive amount of scale can earn any significant amount of money from standard advertising. And even the largest publishers are struggling with it.

So, we need some other way to make money... and a lot of it, which gives us another key element that our platform of choice must be able to support.

None of the old platforms are offering anything like this. TypePad, WordPress, Squarespace, and Tumblr are all great platforms, but none of them have any real methods for supporting the writing financially.

The tech world never really thought about the monetization part of sharing. It's the same on most of the social channels. They are very good at driving social interactions, but horrible at providing publishers a way to cover the cost of doing it.

Sure, we now have Facebook Instant Articles, which allows publishers to embed their own ads into their articles, but those have the same problem as all the other display ads. They don't earn you enough if you are a small publisher.

Even social platforms like YouTube, which has supported YouTubers with a share of the ad revenue for years, are starting to falter. It still works great for the really big YouTubers, but the revenue is tiny compared to the level of traffic and the size of traditional publishers.

As a result, more and more medium-sized YouTubers have moved part of their income to other monetization models, like Patreon, direct brand relationships, influence marketing networks, or donations.

And the small YouTubers can't succeed anymore. The bar for how many views you need to make a living from advertising is now incredibly high, and the market is getting ever more crowded.

I used to say that it takes five years to build up enough momentum to become a full time YouTuber. Today, I would say that it takes five years, but then you would still need other sources of income on top of it.

It has become absolutely brutal.

So, how do we fix this?

Generally there are two ways we can think about this. One ways is to rethink the way we look at advertising. If all the scalable platforms focus on low-intent exposure, we need to offer high-intent context or influence.

This was what I wrote about in my previous Plus article, "Traditional Media Needs Influence-based Advertising to Succeed". Here I illustrate how there is an increasingly untapped market for much more focused advertising. And the reason it stands out and works is because it becomes 'a choice'.

Subscriptions?

The other way, obviously, is to get people to pay for news and it's really fascinating to see how that trend has changed over the past five years. Paid-for content is coming back in a big way, and we see this across the spectrum.

We see it with YouTubers and digital natives who are turning to several forms of paid-for options to support their content. We see it digital native verticals who are winning with high-value content, and the traditional publishers are increasingly taking it much more seriously.

Mind you, this trend is tricky because we are still faced with the habit of the old internet (where everything was free), and we are still faced with way too much abundance.

So if you ask people, in general, if they want to 'pay for news', with news being this poorly targeting, non-personalized, slightly untrustworthy, a bit tabloid-ish, and not that relevant form of random stories about things that don't really impact people personally... the answer is going to be no.

Why would people pay for that?

But would you pay if you did the opposite? If you create a niche product, with a clear purpose, targeted to a specific type of interest, brought to you by knowledgeable and inspiring journalists that people feel they can connect with, based on real value for something that is extremely relevant to you?

You see the difference here?

The question is not whether people will pay for content in general, because they don't. We don't live in a world of scarcity anymore. But people are more than willing to pay for something specific, if you can take yourself to a level where that is unique enough and worth it.

As I mentioned, none of the other platforms really support this. Sure, on Wordpress you can kind of build it yourself with plugins, but then we are back to a world where you have to code things yourself.

So what about Medium? Well, it's still in beta (for selected partners), but Medium has done so many wonderful things in this area as well, with incredibly generous models.

First off, we have Medium subscription plans. Here people can sign up for a specific magazine. The prices defaults to $5 per month (per publication), with the option to pay more or less. But the truly amazing part is the terms.

Medium gives 100% to the publishers. Yes, 100%.

This is insane, but in a good way (if you are a publisher). I don't quite understand this from Medium's perspective and I'm slightly worried about what this means for the future. I'm astounded by this, but how are Medium going to pay its own expenses if it gets zero % of the revenue?

Well, the answer is that it's not that simple. Medium told AdAge that:

The platform would only get a cut of membership money if publishers hit a specific revenue threshold.

In other words, once you reach a certain size, Medium wants their cut, but I have seen no information about how much that cut is (I suspect Medium is still trying to figure that out).

It's a very interesting model, but we will have to wait and see. If the revenue split ended up being 70/30, I would be somewhat reluctant to accept that as a publisher. If it's more like Paypal's 2.9% + credit card fees it would be a different story.

Another thing that is amazing about Medium's subscription feature is how usable it is. Medium, of course, is brilliant at creating ultra simple and usable platforms, like you saw in the picture above.

And when you click on the 'Become a Member' button, you are presented with a very simple screen where you only have to enter your credit card, and you are in. There are no extra steps. It just works.

It gets even better if you have already subscribed to one magazine on Medium and now want to subscribe to another. Because now Medium already have your credit card on file, which means that joining that other magazine can be done with just a click of a button.

This is how all subscription systems should work. It's just mindbogglingly good. It's so good that I'm now planning to redesign my own subscription system (which is already fairly simple).

Notice also the customizable subscription price with the magazine above. It starts at $3/month, but gives people the option to change that. The only thing I'm missing from this is the 'benefit if you pay more' feature.

For instance, if you are business magazine, you might offer people the premium coverage for $5/month, but if they pay $18/month, they also get access to exclusive interview series with industry leaders and trend analysis. And if they pay $49/month, they get access to the very in-depth industry reports.

My point is that giving people a price is, by itself, a terrible way to sell a magazine. We need to answer 'Why is this worth it?', and the Medium default screen doesn't convey that very well.

I'm still worried, though, about the final revenue split. But generally, what Medium is doing with subscriptions is astonishing.

What I like the most is that it's designed as a direct relationship with each publisher. This is something I have been talking about for years. One of the biggest problems with so many other paid-for platforms is that you are paying them instead of the publisher.

Take a platform like Vessel: here you are paying $2.99 for a monthly subscription, but this gives you access to all the publishers on their channel (and they have hundreds of them). Basically it's the Spotify model.

The problem is that it's a terrible model for small publishers, since you are only getting a share of that revenue (based on time spent, as far as I know).

In other words, if a person watches 10 hours of video across 15 channels, then each channel only earns 20 cents per month from that person. Then if another person watches 100 hours of video, across 50 channels, then even with the added time, you now only earn half a cent from that person.

So channels like Vessel are designed for scale. You need to make a ton of videos all the time to keep up the volume to make sure you keep up your share, and you need a silly number of people watching your videos because you have the share that $2.99 with everyone else. And the bigger Vessel grows, the worse the situation is for each publisher.

It's the opposite of what we need.

What I really like about Medium is that they are not doing this. When you subscribe to Serious Eats, for instance, you are subscribing to that specific magazine. They are not sharing your subscription revenue with anyone else. You are their subscriber.

And if all of this wasn't enough, the cancellation process is equally simple. When you are visiting a magazine you are member of, a label of the top of the page says 'member'. If you click on that, you get the option to stop receiving email from that publication (another brilliant feature) and a simple button that says 'Cancel membership'.

It's this simple.

I admit, I'm starting to sound like a fanboy here, but I just love what Medium is doing with this. Unlike most of the tech world, which seems to have a very predatory approach to publishers, Medium has built one of best platforms I have ever seen.

They are taking all four things we need to make this work, and turning it into a very focused and simple system.

So, you ask. Does it work?

Well, that is still too early to tell, but we are hearing some positive signs, albeit with very low numbers. According to AdAge, about 400 publishers have expressed interest in moving parts of their full publications to Medium.

Remember, it's still a closed beta, so this in no way means that Medium has 400 actual publishers using their new subscription tools.

AdAge also asked three small publishers what they were actually earning:

Serious Eats Chief Content Officer Chris Mohney said "a little north of 100" readers have signed on as members. Ms. Discko said Femsplain is at 190 members, just short of the 200-member goal she has set to be able to fund writing on the site. Neil Miller, publisher, said Film School Rejects is "comfortably in-between"Serious Eats and Femsplain.

These are very small numbers. Femsplain's goal of only 200 members means earning only $12,000 per year. That may cover the cost of writing the content, but it's nowhere near enough to turn it into publishing business.

But we are not talking about building media companies the size of the New York Times here. A more relevant comparison would be to look at this the same way as we look at YouTube Creators.

YouTube Creators don't define their success by the size of their revenue for their overall businesses, they define their success based on the revenue per person. That's what often makes digital native publishing so different from traditional publishing.

If a traditional media house wants to create a new publication, you are thinking about it as a big company. You will define a newsroom as a handful of editors, a bunch of journalists and administrative, sales and business side people. Then you need an office to put them all in, and often hideously expensive ways of doing things.

And the reason traditional publishers think this way is because in the old world, only big publishers could survive because of the cost of print and distribution. You had to be big to exist.

But then when you look at the people working for these big publications, you see that the average salary for a journalist is only $45,000 per year. That's not bad considering a lot of people make a lot less, but it's not that impressive either.

Then look at a YouTuber. One such person has a semi-popular channel and a Patreon page where she is earning only $7,000 per month. That's almost nothing, but it's still about $85,000 per year for just that one person.

So if I give you, as a journalist, a choice between working for a big magazine earning $45,000 per year or running your own publication by yourself and earning $85,000 per year, which one would you choose?

Granted, there is also the question of cost, but this is how individual publishers think. They don't define success in the traditional way. It's not about how big the company is and how many people they employ. It's about how successful they are as individuals.

And having $85,000 in revenue as an individual publisher on Medium is only 1,400 members paying $5 per month.

Here are a few examples from Patreon.

This doesn't mean that we can't have much bigger publishers too, just as there are many creators on YouTube who employ more people and earn much more money, but we have to rethink the way we define success.

Digital natives define success by revenue per person. Traditional publishers define it by companies. And while the numbers we have seen so far from Medium are very low, it has a lot of potential.

But what about advertising on Medium? Well, that is a bit more tricky.

Ads?

Medium has also dramatically stepped up how it intends to support advertising. Again, its own offerings are only available as a closed beta for a few select publishers. But there are currently three ways publishers can do this today... well, two ways, since the third way is a bit of a hack.

The first way publishers can do advertising is that Medium has said that publishers are completely free to do their own sponsorships and native advertising, just as they would publish any other article. There is no revenue share, no nothing.

So publishers can do a sponsored article series in partnership with a brand, or native ads, or any other form of modern content based advertising that they can think of. There are no limit and no restrictions.

Obviously, publishers are still bound by the same FTC regulations (all native ads and sponsorships must be clearly disclosed), and Medium is probably paying close attention to it to make sure that rogue publishers don't start to turn Medium into a channel for content spam. But for serious publishers, you can do whatever you want.

This is wonderful news for small publishers who have built up a business around influence marketing. But it's actually an even better opportunity for the growing type of brand+journalist type of media that we see.

This is something traditional journalists hate, but it actually has a lot of potential and can sometimes lead to better stories. Think about how the famous chef Jamie Oliver has turned himself and his network into a publishing powerhouse. This is often far better than anything we see from traditional publishers doing food magazines.

The problem with this model, however, is that Medium doesn't earn anything from it. It's the same problem I have with the membership model we discussed before. How is Medium going to cover its own costs if publishers can just keep 100% of the revenue? That's not a sustainable model.

So, to fix this, Medium has developed its own ad offering. As they put it:

Select publishers and bloggers who consistently produce meaningful, original content and maintain a loyal following of engaged readers will have the ability to host stories from brand partners on posts in their publication. Our initial brand partners include Bose, SoFi, Nest, Intel, and Volpi Foods. We see this as a first step in bringing brands and publishers together on Medium to create meaningful partnerships. Over time, we plan to expand this program and roll out additional opportunities for collaboration.

Here is one example:

And most of the select publishers who are part of this are very happy with it. They say these ads perform well. As The Awl said:

We're really pleased with revenue; it's good.

This sound good, right? But it's actually highly problematic.

The problem is that the only reason why it's so good today is because these select publishers currently enjoy a scarce market. They are a handful of publishers who get to share the total advertising revenue.

But imagine five years from now, and instead of only a few publishers, Medium now has 10,000 publishers signed into this system. Now 10,000 publishers will have to share that revenue, which means that revenue per publication is likely to go down... by a lot.

Premium and exclusive advertising doesn't work at scale.

We see the same thing everywhere else. One of the reasons why BuzzFeed is struggling with revenue at scale, for instance, is that it is unable to scale up their native ads at the same rate as their views.

So, while this might be a good model for Medium as a platform, the larger they become, the worse this will be for the individual publishers, and especially the smallest publishers in 'the long tail'.

I'm very skeptical of the future potential of this model.

The third way brands can do ads today is a bit of hack. I have only seen it in one place, which is over at The Ringer. Their entire publication is sponsored by Miller Lite Beer, but the way they have done that is by adding a static image (in the traditional banner format) to the top and the bottom of each article. Not as an ad block, but as an actual image added to the article itself.

This, of course, is absolutely silly. For one thing, since it's just a static image it's not optimized for mobile. As result the image ends up as this tiny picture that nobody can see. But the main reason this doesn't really work is because it's just a banner ad.

This is what happens when traditional publishers don't change. Sure, you can do this... but we are back to the old world of low-performance ad exposure.

Miller Beer still benefit from it because the ad is on every single page and thus they get massive repeat exposure, but this is a terrible model to aim for. It's manual and it's just a hack.

Other concerns?

As you can see, Medium looks to be a pretty exciting platform for publishers. They are doing a lot of things right. And if I were launching a new digital magazine today, I would probably choose Medium as my 'home' over any of the other publishing platforms.

As a media analyst, I'm very excited about the potential future of Medium. But at the same time, there are also a number of issues that prevent me advising you to make switch just yet. And these issues all relate to the future of media, and where Medium will be in this.

Distributed media

One thing I'm not concerned about, just to get that out of the way, is the whole trend of distributed media. This is something that many in the media industry are talking about (including me), and almost every week we see stories about how a publisher has created a team just for Facebook Live Video (or something similar).

That in itself is an important trend to be aware of, but it's also only something the big publishers do when they are focusing on scale.

It makes a ton of sense for site like BuzzFeed, where they can take their content, their sponsored ad model, and just 'be everywhere'. Their model is to reach people when they are having a micro-moment, when they are bored. Which means that they have to focus almost exclusively on distributed media.

As a small publisher, however, this model isn't really that interesting.

First of all, you don't have the resources to build a 10-person team for Facebook Live Video, or produce a high volume of quick and mostly random posts.

Secondly, as a small publisher, you win by becoming that choice that people pick; that is how you attract high-value advertising partnerships or get people to subscribe. Which means that your focus is to do macro-moments with high intent.

This whole trend of distributed media isn't really that important in your decision whether to use Medium as your home (but Medium does offer conversions to Facebook Instant Articles, if that is a concern).

It's a different trend for a different type of publisher.

What I am concerned about, though, is that Medium is defined by format first, content second.

Format based

One of most important trends that we see today is not that people are increasingly using mobiles or that things have become digital. Those are just the tools that people use. What important is why this is happening, and how that has completely changed the way we behave when consuming content.

You see, today, people distinguish what type of media they consume by its format. When you look at Twitter, you don't think about it as only 140 characters of text. You look at the content, which can be a combination of text, images, animations, or videos.

And we see this on every single channel.

The problem with Medium is that it's defined by a page (format first). True, on this page, you can add images, animations, or embed video or podcasts, and the UI for doing this is very nicely made.

But it's still a page.

If you are a publisher and you decide that doing a podcast or a video series would be a better format for a new series, Medium is not a very good platform for that. So, instead, you will find yourself forced to put that content on some other platform. But as you do that (which quite simple to do), you lose the all important momentum.

For instance, if you are a small publisher, but are also a YouTuber, why can't you combine the two? Why are we still defining media by what format it is made with, even though we know that this is not how people think anymore?

Mind you, I'm not saying you should use all the formats. For instance, the type of content I make for this site wouldn't really do well as video (and especially not as a social video). And for it to really work as a podcast, I would need to make it far more conversational. So, I love the 'page' format. That's the best choice for what I do.

But, for other publishers, doing it as a 'page' might not be the best choice. So, we need a new type of publishing platform. A platform that is defined by a shared form of behavior, rather than any specific format of content. And Medium is very old-school in the way it's defined.

Longevity

An even bigger concern I have with Medium is that they are still based on Silicon Valley funding rounds. In other words, it's still in the grasp of hungry investors who expect a huge pay-out. And you only have to look at Twitter to see how bad that is.

Medium seems to be on the right track, but it is still changing a lot. It started out defining itself as a platform for long-form content, and even went out to buy long-form journalism site 'Matter', and started building its own magazines for people to read.

Then they completely abandoned that idea and Ev announced that Medium would not open up to short social content and were to be much more about the quick social interactions (or what he calls networking) than dedicated publishing tools.

He even proclaimed "Medium is not a publishing tool":

But then, one year later, Medium is now trying to position itself as the premium publishing channel for professional publishers, building... publishing tools.

You see the problem?

How can I trust that what Medium is doing today will still be their focus next year?... or five years from now? It's still thinking about building its business with the Silicon Valley mindset of change often and fail fast.

This is okay for our secondary channels. For instance, I have no problem with Snapchat constantly changing, because it's not 'your home', it's your outreach channel. But Medium wants to be your home, the place where your business exists.

Mind you, this is not just true for Medium, this is true for every platform. When I started getting serious about this site, back in 2010, I needed a payment platform that could support my subscription model. And I spent several months looking for the best one.

I could build it myself, which was terribly resource intensive (and expensive). Or, I could use one of the big established publishing tools for payment, which would have bankrupted me (their monthly fees are insane).

Neither option sounded that good, even though they would give me completely control over the experience.

Another option was to look at all the payment platforms startups, and there was a ton of very exciting ones emerging onto the market. Many of them offered services and user experience that was as good as I described with what Medium is doing today.

I really wanted to use them, but how could I trust a payment startup, who isn't even making a profit yet, to be the payment platform for my business? If they go out of business, they would take all my subscribers with them.

Remember, there is a huge difference between the difficulties of customer acquisitions and customer retention. You don't want to 'start over' building up your customer base.

In fact, today, six years later, most of the payment startups that I looked at back then no longer exist. Almost all of them have gone out of business or pivoted into something that would have destroyed my business. So, I chose PayPal as my payment platform.

Mind you, PayPal is far from perfect, but it is very popular, well-known... and critically... a stable platform. I trust PayPal to still be around 10 years from now. More to the point, I trust them to be so big that if they decide to change anything, that it will happen so slowly that I can adapt in time without destroying my future.

And to me, this is the single most important decision I make.

This is the problem I have with Medium. What it is doing right now is very interesting, and it's possible that its current strategy is going to be what they end up doing for the future. It also may very well be that Medium is the best choice. But, I don't know if it is... yet!

Medium hasn't yet proven that it can be trusted with your future.

This is my dilemma in my role as a media analyst. I can tell you, as I have done in this article, about all the trends. I can tell you how people's behaviors are changing and how that impacts how they consume content. I can tell you about what's important to look for in a platform, and what's not.

I can tell you all about the new thing Medium is doing, and how others are reacting to it. I can give you my analysis of it. And I can demonstrate that it's something that has a lot of promise, because it does.

I can also say if you are just starting out looking for the best platform to build your future on, or if you're an old publisher with a failing platform, Medium might be a good bet, even with the risks.

If I were starting out today, I would be very tempted to use Medium as 'my home', especially now that we have custom domains and a publisher-unique subscription model, which means that I wouldn't lose everything if it fails.

It may also be interesting to experiment with Medium as a secondary channel. This way you can build up momentum and establish yourself, so that if Medium turns out to be a winning platform, you don't have to start from scratch long after everyone else.

But I cannot recommend that you switch your publishing business to Medium just yet. I certainly wouldn't do it with this site. I need Medium to get past its venture capital-backed growth phase. I need them to be sustainable first. I need to see that it doesn't intend to completely pivot its focus a year from now.

I need to own my future. And so do you.

 
 
 

The Baekdal Plus Newsletter is the best way to be notified about the latest media reports, but it also comes with extra insights.

Get the newsletter

Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé

 

—   strategy   —

free

strategy:
Black hat and white hat publishers

plus

strategy:
Launching a new magazine? What even is a magazine?

plus

strategy:
Why do publishers do better in some countries?

plus

strategy:
Why people only subscribe to one newspaper

plus

strategy:
What the Heck is On-Demand News?

plus

strategy:
The Inside Look at Zetland's Shift to Audio