Medium says it will compensate writers based on reading time, not claps

Medium is announcing significant changes to its Partner Program, where subscribers pay for access to exclusive content, and the revenue gets split with writers.

The biggest change is that writers will now be compensated based “primarily” on reading time, rather than claps. In a post, Medium’s Emma Smith describes reading time as “a closer measure of quality and resonance with readers.” After all, it reflects the interest and behavior of all readers, “not just the ones who remember to .”

According to Smith’s post, Medium has now paid out more than $6 million total to 30,000 writers.

When CEO Ev Williams explained the partner model to me shortly after it launched in 2017, he described it as an evolving formula that incorporated claps and reading time, but now it sounds like reading time has won out as the metric that matters.

“We believe in reading time because it represents the core value that our readers receive from Medium,” Smith writes. “It may not be a perfect measure of value, but we find that it’s a powerful proxy.”

To be more specific, Smith says Medium is measuring and determining compensation based on active reading time, so if someone keeps the

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