Medium has abruptly pulled a feature that allowed publishers to operate paywalls on its platform, leaving some independent media scrambling for alternative options to maintain a crucial source of revenue.
The company this week shuttered a two-year program that let media run paid subscription services on its site. Nieman Lab reports that Medium contacted its 21 remaining subscription publishing partners at the end of April to give them a week’s notice on the shutdown. Although Medium said it offered to extend the deadline for those who needed more time.
A lot can happen in a week, but it’s not a lot of time when it comes to rejigging business models — particularly in the media industry where revenue is sacred and direct relationships with readers are savored.
Of course, because this is life, there were some complications.
One publication, the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism (BINJ), said the shutdown came out of the blue as it apparently didn’t get the notification email.