Medium Lays Off Staff, Closes Offices

A new business model and 50 pink slips.

The sad media-drumbeat of 2016 has kept right on going through the beginning of 2017.

On Tuesday, per a report by Talking Biz News’ Chris Roush, around two dozen layoffs were made at trade magazines The American Lawyer and Corporate Counsel. Today, it is the turn of Medium. The platform is closing its offices in New York and Washington D.C., as well as cutting 50 staff, which represents a third of its ranks. Remaining employees in those two cities will now work remotely.

From today’s note by Medium CEO Ev Williams:

Upon further reflection, it’s clear that the broken system is ad-driven media on the internet. It simply doesn’t serve people. In fact, it’s not designed to. The vast majority of articles, videos and other “content” we all consume on a daily basis is paid for — directly or indirectly — by corporations who are funding it in order to advance their goals. And it is measured, amplified, and rewarded based on its ability to do that. Period. As a result, we get… well, what we get. And it’s getting worse.

Quick, rough translation: Any content operation relying solely or too heavily on a CPM, traffic and ads model is doomed. A large chunk of the revenue model must be attached to e-commerce, sponsored-native content, events and other affiliated flows.

Here’s an example of Medium’s nascent native advertising effort “Promoted Stories,” which was designed as a revenue-share with platform publishers. Read the rest of the Williams note here.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
IAC Corrals the Sponsored-Content Beast