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Introducing Medium’s New Minimum Payout Threshold

  • 7 min read

Same old or something new?

There is a discussion on Medium about the new $10 minimum payout threshold on Medium.

Off-Grid Romania broke the news and Robert Ralph amplified his news story.

Unfortunately, no link to an official statement was added, so I did some research and could not find a new statement or update from Medium staff

Moreover, the official Medium Partner Program Terms from 2021 haven’t YET been updated.

Here’s the proof:

Official MPP Terms

As far as I know, the minimum payout threshold isn’t really news.

It was already announced in August 2021.

Back then, Medium revamped its Medium Partner Program (MPP) and launched the new Medium Referral Program.

  • In essence, since then you can earn $2 for every new member you refer. The best part: it’s recurring income.

Medium also updated the MPP Eligibility Criteria

When Medium revamped its MPP, the company also updated the eligibility criteria of its member program:

  • In essence, they instated an application process: “To be approved, you must have at least 100 followers, have published at least one story, and be within the geographical enrollment eligible locations.”
  • Additionally, they announced they may disable monetization for writers who haven’t published for 6 months or more.

In August 2021, Medium already shared that it will introduce a new minimum payout threshold:

“In the near future we plan to introduce a minimum payout threshold of $10.

If you don’t make at least $10 in a given month, we’ll roll over the balance to the next month until you meet the minimum threshold. (…) Stay tuned for more details.”

No money in the wallet this month! GIPHY

Also, TechCrunch reported this.

Here’s a scenario vs. a real-life example

Scenario:

If you make $5 this January and $5 in February, Medium will roll over your January balance into February.

Real-life ex.

At least until December 2022, new writers had their pennies or dollars sent through Stripe.

Here’s the proof from my hubby and online entrepreneur Patrick God (he has written only one story so far, which was published in the summer of 2022):

$1.73 was sent to Patrick’s Stripe account on January 2023

This is what the official Partner Program Terms say

The Partner Program Terms were last updated in August 2021.

In it, Medium says:

Medium reserves the right to require that your revenue meet a minimum payout threshold before Medium disburses payment. In the event that you quit or are removed from the Partner Program, Medium will disburse payment to you up to and through the date you are no longer in the Partner Program, regardless of the minimum payout threshold.”

So it is already mentioned in the terms WITHOUT Medium actually applying it.

In the past, I’ve already broken the news about Medium’s bonus payments, minimum payouts for writers, tipping tool or SEO program where you get paid for external views BEFORE Medium officially announced it…

However, I asked some new and also more senior writers on Twitter, and no one has had any experience with it yet or believes that Medium will actually introduce this minimum threshold in 2023.

Of course, Medium could hit us all with the January (non-)payouts, BUT — as far as I’m concerned — there’s nothing to worry about right now.

Pro and cons statements from the Medium community

As shown above, in 2021, Medium already announced the minimum payout threshold.

It’s also part of the official Partner Program Terms.

Minimum payout threshold = if a writer makes less than $10 in a month, that pay will roll over to the next month until they amass at least $10.

Here are the pros and con statements from the community:

Cons

GIPHY

Arbab Z. — Shocking!

  • “It is shocking news for low earning writers. I hope it is not true.”

Lucy Socha — It’s just skinning its writers alive.

  • “Tony is trying to boost and bolster think of all the money Medium will suck up by keeping the dimes and few dollars from its writers. As only less than 10% make over $100, imagine all the bucks they’ll be raking in. It’s just skinning its writers alive.”

David Weldy — Disheartened!

  • “I have so many peaks and valleys until I know I will have a month that I don’t have that magical $10. I’ve often said as long as I make enough to pay for my membership, then I”m okay. That thought process is now out the door. I’m not sure if they understand how this helps competitors like Substack. Of course, their competitors may follow suit if they have not done so already”

Pro

GIPHY

Nikos KafritsasAI bombardment!

  • “I think that’s necessary, and if I were Tony, I would raise the threshold to 50$. Why? Because the last month, I have been bombarded with low-quality articles that were written 100% by ChatGPT. Their authors were publishing 4–5 articles every day, hoping to accumulate earnings with sheer quantity.”

K. Joseph — Still can track monthly earnings!

  • “Bundling the payments to be greater than $10 is OK. We can still track month-over-month performance.”

Dave Wettlaufer — It’s common practice!

  • “If it’s any consolation to the reader, I was on a affiliate site where it is a hundred dollars before paying out. The down side is, I’m stuck at 30 dollars for this past year, — — I guess it’s better than being stuck at $99.99. 😀”

Nancy Blackman, MASF — It’s a business decision!

  • “I don’t see anything wrong with it. It’s a business/accounting decision. Maybe Medium has to pay Stripe for each transaction? So, if you were the CEO of Medium what would you do?”

Medium’s competitor Vocal has a minimum payout threshold and Twitch lowered it to $50

On Vocal Media, one of Medium’s competitors, members have to earn a minimum of $20 before cashing out. Non-members must reach a minimum of $35.

However, there are social media platforms such as Twitch (where you can share how you write an article live) that lowered their minimum payout threshold from $100 to $50, for instance:

“One day, we’d love for you to wrap up your stream and already have the money you earned from that stream in your wallet”

In the summer of 2022, Twitch anticipated that around 70,000 creators would receive more regular payouts as a result of the new minimum

Bottom Line

Minimum payout thresholds are a viable tool in the business and marketing world.

As shown, the minimum payout threshold is not news.

It goes back to August 2021.

Although it is integrated into the Medium Partner Program Terms, Medium hasn’t put it into practice YET.

There are some writers who think it had been in place for a while BUT I don’t know one writer who experienced the threshold.

(Please note: Maybe you have experienced it or know someone? If you have further information, please feel free to share it in the comments!)

But when I started writing on Medium, I thought it was great to make a few pennies and earn my first dollars online and see the money in my bank account.

Kristina God’s first month on Medium, two years ago.

That was a motivational boost!

GIPHY

I’m curious. What’s your opinion?


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