Is Medium Going Out of Business? How Exposed Are You?

Festus Otasowie

Medium has made it possible for anyone to blog, and be seen, and has often been referred to as

‘YouTube for text’

However, although Medium is now eight years old, and has pulled in around $132 million in venture funding, it’s still not profitable. So when considering your next venture, what lessons can we take away from this?

According to SEO guru Neil Patel, since Medium’s launch in August of 2012, it’s a blogging platform, a blend of platform and publisher, an online magazine, and simply just an ‘upscale content farm’

But is this all singing and dancing platform bringing in the bucks or is Medium going out of business? Let’s take a look at the short answer before delving into details.

Is Medium going out of business? Although Medium doesn’t publish its profit details and has had various changes in their business model, they still currently have around 100 million subscribers. However, a change to protocol relating to Customers no longer being able to customize domains encouraged observers to recommend WordPress.

So now you’ve got the mini takeaway, so we can understand a little more easily whether Medium is going out of business, let’s start by looking at exactly what Medium is.

A jar containing many writing pens
Medium has loads of customers

What is Medium? is currently one of the most popular places to publish articles and is essentially an online publishing platform where people can publish their articles for free.

It’s used by both amateur and professional writers.

Currently, most of the articles are hidden behind a paywall, which means visitors are able to read three articles and then have to sign up for an account.

In this way, authors who use medium’s platforms usually reach a smaller audience but will make a larger profit.

According to Ev Williams, co-founder of Blogger and Twitter, and one of Mediums co-founders Medium is:

simple, beautiful, collaborative, and it helps you find the right audience for whatever you have to say

So before understanding a little more easily why some might think Medium is going out of business, let’s look at why some users have been more than happy to use its platform.

To learn more about why Medium going out of business is of great concern, see below a YouTube video interview of Ev Williams (one of the Medium co-founders) explaining how Medium is changing the publishing world

Video interview -How Medium is changing publishing
Medium has changed the way online publishing was being done

Why do users post blogs on Medium?

Since its inception in August 2012, Medium has quickly become very popular among published and non published authors alike due to some of the benefits of using it, including:

  • Large audience – Any user who is using Medium will have discovered one of its chief benefits is that you don’t have to build a website or your audience from the ground up. Simply by including your blog in the right category and adding relevant tags your content will be put in front of readers interested in your subject area.
  • Clear design – one of the upsides of blogging with Medium is that readers aren’t bombarded with advertisements that don’t make for a pleasurable reading experience. Medium’s design is unique and very user friendly with clean web pages and text display.
  • Easy start – Create an account, sign in and begin writing, making sure you assign the correct category for your piece and simply hit publish.

So now you know what medium is, you might be wondering if there’s anything happening on the platform to make users think that they might be going out of business.

Let’s find out.

The Medium platform is used by publishers and non-publishers
Medium is very popular amongst professionals and non-professionals

What recent issues are there with Medium Going Out of Business?

One of Medium’s recent causes for speculation on whether it will remain in business or not is their decision to no longer let users register custom domains.

Historically, publishers could apply the Medium CMS to their existing URL, in the same way, you can build a website on top of WordPress or Drupal, for example.

While you were able to customize in this way, a reader would be unlikely to realize that the website was powered by medium unless they were fairly familiar with the platform.

But now publishers can no longer register customized domains.

So recently If you want to host a new publication on Medium, readers can only find it at:

Previous blogs and publications were given grandfather rights and subsequently haven’t been affected by the changes in policy

Ok so the world of social media is always on the pulse on how people feel about companies and Medium is no different.

Let’s take a look at what users have been saying about Medium’s policy changes.

One of the policy changes
An unstable policy will lead to a mass exodus

What is being tweeted about Medium?

Many negative tweets and other articles were posted around the policy change, with many dissatisfied users and commentators encouraging writers to move content off the Medium platform.

One aggrieved observer wrote…

Medium has proven themselves an excessively volatile partner to publications already. Their whims will change again. You need an escape hatch.”

This was combined with a post by Daring Fireball post which gave some watertight reasons for users to leave Medium as a content publishing platform.

So what does the chairman of Medium think about the company he created and were there any announcements that might give weight to the proposition that Medium may be going out of business?

Medium customers showing frustration about changing policies that adversely affect them
Some customers are frustrated and rightly so

Let’s find out below.

Staff redundancies

Medium CEO Ev Williams was apparently not happy with the whole Medium model almost from its time of inception.

So it came as no surprise to some when Williams announced in a post in January 2017 that Medium would be laying off over a third of its staff centred around customer support, sales, and other integral business functions.

It appeared that according to Ev Williams post,

The management team had decided if they didn’t make some real changes while they had both the resources and momentum to do so, Medium would risk failing on its far larger, original mission.

According to a disgruntled blogger interviewed by Business Insider, many users felt blindsided as publishing partners.

One by one, many of them began migrating to platforms like WordPress.

Within a fairly short time, the powers that be at Medium hurriedly announced their new business model which would be paid memberships.

For $5 a month, authors subscribing would pay $5 a month for unlimited access to premium


So you might be wondering where Medium is as in regards to speculation as to whether they are going out of business and if they have made any more recent changes?

Do you have content on the Medium platform and wondering about Medium going out of business?

Then you may also be interested in another money-making opportunity in by starting an ecommerce business or affiliate marketing  

Is Medium going out of business? Time will tell
Finding the right business model to generate profitability could be challenging

Let’s take a look.

Is profitable?

Even though Medium has settled into the subscription-based model, the company is still far from profitable. As Medium doesn’t share any of its financial data, it’s unclear as to whether profit is part of the greater plan.

However, According to other experts, Medium was looking for more media partnerships in April 2019 to reach its target of 1 million subscribers by 2020.

Medium is still on its part to profitability
How profitable Medium will be is yet to be seen

And finally…

So in a nutshell Medium is still here and still has somewhere between 85 and 100 million monthly active users. This clearly demonstrates its current massive audience and potential reach.

However, anecdotally, Medium could be perhaps described as where the party used to be.

It’s worth considering the impact on your income and business when a platform that you have your life’s work and potentially hundreds of articles locked into that might suddenly go offline or more drastically stops being cool.

Diversify, and consider more ways to obtain an income stream.

Yes, Medium going out of business could be a real issue if you are unprepared.

We welcome your feedback. Are you one of those considering what this may mean for your business?

What long term options are you thinking about? Please share with us using the comment box below.

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