Medium becomes even more of a publisher as it experiments with sponsored content


Medium, the Evan Williams-backed startup that is part open platform and part publisher, has been focusing on the latter part of that strategy recently by adding high-profile writer/editors such as author Steven Levy. Now the site has launched its version of advertising: namely, a sponsored magazine — or “collection,” as Medium likes to call them — made up of commissioned articles about design.

The collection is being sponsored by BMW, and according to Ad Age magazine it will also include “native advertising,” in the form of a number of design-related articles about the automaker that will be created by Medium staff, with help from the company’s advertising agencies. Medium recently posted a job opening for a managing editor of creative services, someone whose team would design and create editorial content for brands.

Medium Re:form

Evan Hansen, a senior editor at Medium, told Ad Age that the site is looking at different methods of monetization. “We’re in an exploratory moment,” he said. “It’s not about the money, it’s about the experiment.” The Re:form content will say that it is sponsored by BMW, and videos will be embedded at the end of each article.

Medium has also been experimenting with different approaches to its editorial product as well, including compensating some writers based on the amount of time readers spend with their articles, after originally compensating them based on raw pageviews. Some contributors are also paid standard commissioning fees, while others are paid nothing, and post their content without any editorial oversight.

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