Medium Won’t Pay Me for Writing. They Want Me to Pay for Reading.

Medium isn't for everyone

I had returned to writing after a gap of around 15 years. Medium seemed like a great writing platform, and it has been a month since I joined.

I love their feature-rich and creator-oriented interface which made life easier. The ease of using title tags, quote tags, the nifty SEO features, Twitter and Unsplash integrations, access to a vast reader/customer base through curation and magazines, and the best of all — autosave.

Yes, this is a life-saving feature for me as I take a zillion breaks while writing.

Things are going so well, I’ve written a few articles, finished reading three articles, and just clicked on another one. Oh boy, what’s this?

You’ve read all your free member-only stories. Become a member to get unlimited access and support the voices you want to hear more from.

Hello, paywall we meet again. Now, I happen to be from a country that Medium’s only payment method Stripe doesn’t support. So let me get this straight. I need to pay Medium for reading more than three articles a month, but they won’t pay me a dime for writing? Oh, come on that’s ridiculous.

It’s not that I’m broke—I can cough up that money — but this is a matter of justice and fairness. Medium needs to take care of the message they convey to people like us.

Who are the Medium Partner Program elites?

Apparently, the Partner Program is only available for writers from the following Stripe supported countries:

 Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States.

I don’t see India on the list. There is no China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia… Out of 48 countries in Asia, only 2 are on the list, in addition to Hong Kong. No country from the African continent. Heck, out of the 195 countries in the world, just 33 countries are on this list.

What about writers from other countries who want to monetize their efforts on Medium? They can go to h… Vocal. They can go to Vocal Media.

That’s what Medium intends to say, it seems. And what is the reason for Medium not partnering with writers in other countries? “Stripe doesn’t support.”

Alternatives to Stripe

In recent years, the world has witnessed a boom in digital tech, artificial intelligence, communication systems, and access to the internet. As a result, online payments are easier than ever. There is a multitude of payment methods used around the world today. Here are a few:

  • Paypal
  • Amazon Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Apple Pay
  • Skrill
  • Paytm
  • PayU Wallet
  • Ali Pay
  • MobiKwik
  • Citrus Pay
  • Razor Pay

Why don’t they use any of these alternatives in the remaining countries? I just cannot get my head around this. If anyone knows Medium’s stand on this, please enlighten me.

Most of the above work in my country. And as far as I know, they are being used by companies from all over the world. Even my technologically challenged granduncle who runs a small corner shop uses one of these. 

So what is Medium’s message for you and me? “We are happy without you.” Loud and clear.

Does it make business sense?

It is simple commonsense to develop new markets and grow your customer base. But what Medium does goes against all the rules of business that I know of.

Usually, a business tries to earn more profits so that the owner’s funds can be increased. More than 75% of the world’s population lives in the remaining 162 countries that Medium has ignored.

Convert that into monetary figures and you get an idea of the business stupidity.

A matter of ideals

Medium started as a platform for democratizing blogging and giving the power of publishing to the masses. Looks like they have moved away from those ideals.

If Medium expects people from the remaining 162 countries to pay for reading stories on their platform, wouldn’t people from these countries expect to get paid for writing too? The higher-ups in Medium think differently.


Ok, let me end my rant by saying one thing. I will become a paying member the moment they find a way to pay me for my time.

Till then I — and a couple of billion others — don’t see much justification for spending time on the listicle minefields of Medium.

We could have been much more, my beloved Medium. But you chose not to. There are other writing platforms out there that I should divert my attention to perhaps.

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