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Do We or Do We Not Get Paid For Listen Time On Medium?

  • 5 min read

A lot of writers are scratching their heads. Others think they’ve figured it out.

I felt flattered when I found an email from Medium’s Vice President in my inbox.

VP Warren Shaeffer is the former co-founder of Knowable.

Knowable is an audio learning platform Medium acquired in Q4 2021.

In his kind email, he informed me about Medium’s new audio initiative AND about my bonus for listening time.🤑

I felt thrilled and checked my Dashboard.

Heck YEAH!

I received a one-time member list bonus for February 2022 of a whopping $2,22.

Warren and his team informed us, that Medium will factor listen time into the payout calculations for March 2022 and onwards.

So I stated:

But I tell you, those pennies will add up in the near future.

No more bonus payments

I reached out to Medium’s Support to ask them if the bonuses would continue.

They told me they would.

So I informed my audience about the next bonus wave.

Unfortunately, there was no second wave.

Additionally, from the feedback I got, I know that most writers think they don’t get paid for listening time.

That’s why I wrote another story about how unfair this is.

Is Medium withholding hard-earned money?

In my article, I stated that in my view, since February 2022 there haven’t been any further payments although people are listening to our stories.

That’s not fair.

We’re getting paid for reading time.

So we should get paid for listening time, too.

Judy Derby left a comment and informed me about the following experiment she made.

Is this experiment by a fellow writer the proof that Medium pays us for listening time?

Here’s what Judy Derby did:

(...)I started using the Speechify on every article I read. I asked a couple of writers to pay attention to their stats the next day because I intended to binge-read them.
Binge reading about 15 to 20 articles each.
One writer said that his earnings jumped $1 overnight.
The other author said his earnings had increased even when I'd read articles that I had previously read.
We DO get paid for listening time.
  • But can this be proof that we get paid?
  • Can one writer increase the earnings of another this way?
  • Why isn’t there an official statement by Medium claiming that we get paid then?

Here’s what the official statement by Medium says

In Medium’s Help Center I found this post about audio on Medium:

This is what they say:

The most important part is this one:

The adjustment will appear as a one-time engagement bonus!

So, NO (!) we don’t get paid at the moment.

We only get paid if anyone sees this green box that popped up on my Dashboard in February:

Does anyone see it?!

I don’t see it anymore.

Although a lot of people are listening to my stories!

This is what writers got paid in February for listening time

Big players, such as…

… didn’t receive a single penny.

Wrapping it up

To wrap it up for all goldfish who just scanned the text and the subheads:

Unfortunately, we don’t get paid for listening time.

Please let me know if you’ve any questions or feedback.

If you're reading this story and you do see a green box in your Dashboard or have further information please leave a comment.

© Kristina God


👉 I hope you enjoyed reading this insightful article. If you’d like to support me as a writer, kindly consider signing up for a membership to get unlimited access to Medium. It only costs $5 per month and I will receive a portion of your membership fee.

See you in the next article.

Happy learning, Kristina!

Can’t wait for more? Here’s my latest viral hit:

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