Does the New Medium Partner Program Really Favor Longer Stories?

An in-depth look at my average member reading times.

By Shannon Ashley

There’s been a lot of talk about whether or not the new earnings system for the Medium Partner Program will encourage writers to create longer posts. At face value, it seems like a reasonable question, because our earnings are now accrued mostly by the reading time a member spends upon each of our stories.

The truth about whether or not the new earnings system will favor longer posts is complicated. For one thing, we never know just how much 30 seconds of member reading time is really worth. There are far too many variables for us to know, since it not only depends upon how many paying members read our work, but also what else they’re reading. Which is then contingent upon who is publishing, how many stories are getting published, and what happens to catch a reader’s attention.

Not to mention how much traffic we drive to our work, and how well Medium distributes each story.