Over at Nieman Lab, Laura Hazard Owen has written an interesting breakdown of how Medium wooed five different publishers over to its platform, and how it’s going so far. Unfortunately (not Laura’s fault; blame the NDAs!), it’s missing a critical piece of the wooing, which is a financial breakdown of what each of them might have been promised. It’s a time-tested strategy for social networks to pay influential early adopters to use their service, in the hopes of convincing regular folks to create content on it for free. And this is a volatile time for the media business. If you’re a publisher, and Medium is offering you guaranteed revenue in exchange for sponsored content, or Facebook is paying you to create live videos, or maybe Snapchat is paying you to create some video, why say no to those opportunities? In the case of Facebook’s live videos, for example, it’s great to see more reporting on the actual price tag, and how these content deals actually work. That can empower other publishers as they go into these meetings. It’s not merely about “exposure.” I’m biased, because I work for Automattic, and Medium now seems
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