October 13, 2017 By FTI Consulting
Build that paywall! Online publishing platform Medium announced this week that it is expanding its subscription programme today by allowing any author or publisher (that’s you, me, your CEO – or any Tom, Dick or Harriet) to join its partner programme. That’s the programme where readers can pay a small monthly fee ($5) to access content behind a metered paywall, and in which the writers who choose to put their content behind the paywall get a share of the revenue based on factors such as dwell time on articles and the number of “claps” (similar to ‘likes’, we wrote about them in August) the piece receives.
CEO Evan Williams says the goal is to fund high quality written content – and avoid individuals having to choose either to join large established media outlets or receive zero compensation. In a climate where fact-checking and serious, weighty investigative writing is more in demand than ever, funding authors in any way is a good step.
It’s not just us that think this is a positive move… since paid memberships launched in March, there has been a 44% growth in users, and in September, 83% of those who published paywalled stories received money. For many Execs who want to have their say or get something off their chest, we’d suggest Medium might be considered an increasingly viable alternative to LinkedIn or traditional Op-Eds.
Opinion-maker, influencer, taste-setter; there is a single word that underlines the success or failure of any of these endeavours: authenticity. If brand and advocate don’t match up, audiences have a right to be sceptical.
One such partnership caught our eye yesterday, when stalwart of English football Harry Redknapp tweeted his effusive support for an up-and-coming mobile cryptocurrency app. Far be it from us to speculate on his retirement interests, but a man who once claimed he didn’t know what email was and had never sent a fax or a text is a potentially challenging frontman for a new cryptocurrency.
There are of course more examples – football’s own Cristiano Ronaldo recently proclaimed his love for eco-friendly Egyptian Steel, while we all remember influencers who weren’t invested enough in the product to check they hadn’t copied the wrong section of the message from their PR (see also Naomi Campbell).
Say what you want about ‘Arry and Electroneum – we’re talking about them. Oh, and bitcoin prices surged to an all-time high after Harry’s heartfelt endorsement…
Marky Z and the now infamously robotic presentation of his voice-command personal assistant Jarvis first caught the eye at the back end of 2016. In less than 12 months voice-command software has gone from the exclusive plaything of tech billionaires (both real-life and fictional) to a fixture in an increasing number of homes. Voice tech seems to be the latest final frontier in our never-ending quest to actually live Sci-Fi, and various tech behemoths are pretty keen to get involved and even go beyond.
Amazon has dropped the price of their Echo Show in the face of competition (and a little rough play) from Google. Sony has announced they’re building their first robot since 2006, and it’s going to be an AI-driven voice-responsive dog. The sentence “frolicking like a real dog while controlling home appliances at voice commands” (from a recent Nikkei Asian Review) is simultaneously adorable and terrifying.
Facebook is dreaming bigger still, conducting research into tech that will type straight from your thoughts at 100 words per minute (typing is a while away, but a woman has already moved a cursor across a screen). Stuff of nightmares, or just a reminder to think happy thoughts? While brainwave communications is a little further away than next year, how we engage with news, information and data is increasingly moving away from a simple flick-and-scroll. As it does, we’ll be keeping an ear out for the developments.