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Two Huge Things Will Happen On Medium In 2023

Both good and bad?

2022 is almost over. It’s been a bumpy ride for Medium, to say the least. But 2023 will bring some huge changes.

Here are two:

#1 External views

As you may have already heard, Medium will be test-driving a highly important new feature in January 2023.

Payment for external views.

Up until now, external views did nothing in terms of earnings for Medium writers, although many of us have driven tens of thousands of viewers to this site via search engine traffic.

This will change soon, as far as I can tell.

The beta test with a few selected Medium writers is planned for 3 months. Among the participants are writers who have constantly driven large numbers of external readers to Medium. You won’t find the popular Medium names on that short list, the ones who make real money from the partner program.

No, the participants are “smaller” names that know their way around SEO.

How this experiment turns out might very well shape this future feature for us, members later on, or even dismiss it altogether if it fails to deliver what Medium expects.

Now, you might be thinking, where does the money come from for external views?

Great question!

This is why I think 2023 will boast another huge change for all Medium members.

#2 Money, money, money

To increase payouts, i.e., to cover both member reading time and external reading time, Medium needs more money. Obviously.

I’m pretty sure this can only mean one thing.

Medium will increase the price of the membership.

It’s $5 a month or $50 per year. And to be honest, that’s not much.

Twitter Blue (or whatever it’s called) costs 8 bucks, and you only get a blue checkmark. Well, mainly that. Total BS.

Medium hosts thousands and thousands of incredible stories from talented writers and each day this catalog grows. That’s easily worth $5 a month, in my opinion.

Is it also worth $10?

Could Medium double the cost of the membership if they then pay for external views with a decent amount?

My guess is, yes.

Another thing might be impacted by this change. Referral income. Bringing in new members is key for Medium as a company. With an increase in membership cost, Medium could also double the referral payout. $5 for each referred member is a big deal.

The bottom line

These two things will happen in 2023 if you ask me. But this is my take on it, of course. I don’t know anything.

The beta test for external views is ongoing, we know that. But the increase in membership cost is a rumor. Although this tweet by Tony Stubblebine is a good hint.

Numerous other things will happen on Medium in 2023, I’m sure. We will see a renewed focus on curation and distribution, on boosting the best stories and authors, and on elevating high-quality content.

This will come at a cost, though. A more expensive membership. Is it worth it? What do you think?

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