Getting paid to write is hard, a situation that's not helped by so many places asking you to work for free. Medium CEO Ev Williams has let slip that he's working on a way for his service to enable writers and publishers to get paid. In an interview with BBC News, Williams revealed that his team was "just starting to work on that now, actually." He added that a monetization feature is being built "right now" and will be available before the end of the financial quarter.
Williams doesn't seem too worried at the thought that a morass of banner adverts would ruin Medium's minimalistic, text-heavy layout. When asked, he said "there are ways to [advertise] that are respectful of user experience and privacy." The Twitter co-founder also said that he saw a lot of potential in "premium, subscription or user-paid content," conjuring up images of a tip jar on each page or a Netflix-like model. That would put it on an equal footing with sites like the New York Times, which keeps the bulk of its reporting behind a paywall.
Medium has established itself as a modern-day replacement for Blogger, at lest for the rarified technology crowd. It's become the de-facto soapbox for CEOs to espouse their philosophies, as well as giving disgruntled employees a space to blow the whistle. That's going to change soon enough since the site is going to become the new home for Bill Simmons' follow-up to the much-loved Grantland. The Ringer will be the first "premium content" website to use Medium's technology and it's likely that Simmons and his team will want to be paid. Hopefully, it means that everyone else can be, too.