In a blog post shared on Wednesday, Williams said he wants to move away from ad-supported content, which is how most stuff on the internet generates revenue. Williams described that business model, which is almost entirely dependent on clicks and views, as a “broken system.”
“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,” Williams wrote. “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.”
So if ad-supported content is no good, what will Medium do instead? Williams hasn’t decided.
It’s the question everyone who pays much attention to the internet asks, and doesn’t have an answer to. Yes, ad-supported content doesn’t work, but we don’t know what does.
And if nothing does work, does the internet have a future?