Read our new manifesto

Now available on-demand

Get inspired. Find solutions. Harness the power of digital marketing.

Featuring Speakers from

Agencies 4 Growth Festival Logo
Agencies 4 Growth Festival Logo
Agencies 4 Growth Festival Logo

Medium cuts staff by a third as 'broken' ad model fails

Online publishing firm Medium has revealed it is to lay-off 50 workers, equivalent to a third of its workforce, after CEO Ev Williams conceded that the companies business model wasn’t working.

Medium contracts by a third as business fails to take-off

The energetic start-up has secured more than $130m from investors such as Google Ventures but has thus far struggled to make money of its own by selling ads, prompting a radical change in tack from what Williams describes as a "broken system".

Outlining the cost cutting programme in a blog post Williams wrote: “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.”

Unfortunately for Medium, Williams has no clear alternative model as yet beyond a vague shift of resources to reward writers according to the ‘value they’re creating for people’.

Prior to this announcement Medium had been valued as highly as $600m.

Ev Williams has previously served as CEO of Twitter.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis