Partner Program and Stats changes FAQ

How are earnings calculations changing with the new Partner Program?

With the new Partner Program, there has been a significant change in how earnings are calculated. As a result, you may have noticed a difference in your earnings when compared to the previous model. Some writers have experienced an increase in their earnings, while others have observed a decrease.

In short, earnings will be based on member read and listen time as well as member engagement points. This includes claps, highlights, replies, and new follows. Member reads and Member read ratios are defined as paying members who read your story for 30 seconds or more divided by total views. More information on how earnings are calculated can be found here, with examples featured here.

We are fine-tuning the new calculations to ensure fair compensation for all types of quality stories.

Why are my stats different than before?

As part of the changes to the Partner Program, we have also started updating the stats pages.

In August, we launched the first of several updates aimed at improving our system and delivering more accurate and timely data to you. This initial update includes additional information on the latest metrics used to calculate your earnings. You can learn more here.

Some older metrics, like reads and views on the Stats page or the read time in the story stats, have been removed temporarily as we work on improving the Stats, and they will return shortly. Others, like “View by traffic source” and “Reader interests,” still use the old model.

We have also updated the way some of these metrics are counted:

Views: A view is recorded when a visitor opens your story page. A visitor can only generate a single view per 24 hours, and the duplicate visits in that time are not counted.

In order for a view to be counted:

  • Browsers must have Javascript enabled to be counted as views.
    We do not count clicks that leave before the Javascript on the page loads (approx. 5 seconds)
  • We do not count clicks to exit warning interstitials on other websites (i.e., "You are leaving this site, and directing to").

Reads: A read is recorded when the visitor spends at least 30 seconds reading your story. A visitor can only generate a single read per 24 hours; duplicate reads are not counted. This doesn’t affect the read time calculation.

We will also continue evolving and improving the stats pages to make them as clear and useful as possible.

Which interactions have an impact on my earnings?

Only engagement by a Member who has triggered a read is counted toward your earnings. It is possible for a Member to engage with your story by clapping or highlighting, and then bouncing before a read is registered. That engagement will NOT count toward your earnings. There are other things that can prevent those interactions from being taken into account, like fraudulent activity or suspensions. For a variety of reasons, we suggest that these stats work as a way to give you an idea of where earnings could be coming from, but you should not expect all activity to translate to earnings all the time.

We also know that not all kinds of stories are suited for this kind of engagement, and for that, we are tweaking our calculations to ensure the right balance for all types of quality stories.

Does the focus on “personal stories” mean that Medium is not interested in scientific/research/technical articles?

No. Medium is interested in high quality articles about any/every topic.

Does my story have to be boosted to earn?

No. The Boost program is separate from the Partner Program, and your stories don’t need to be boosted to earn. However, if they are boosted, they will get a bonus if you're in the Partner Program. If you're not in the Partner Program, they will just get additional distribution.

We are committed to incentivizing meaningful, original, constructive stories on any/every topic based on personal experience. Any story is eligible for Boost, regardless of number of followers, name recognition, topic category, or any other heuristic. You don’t have to be a Medium member or be enrolled in the Partner Program to get Boosted. However, when you *are* in the Partner Program, members-only stories that get Boosted will earn at a higher rate, in addition to receiving the usual distribution bonus. Read more about our Boost criteria here.

Does the reading time still count, or is it only the individual read that matters now?

Yes. Reading time generated by users counts as an engagement point.

This includes the amount of reading time generated to the first “read” and then incremental points after this. Currently, the amount of read time generated is not available on the stats details page.

Why do some of my stories have views but not reads?

A read is counted when the reader has spent at least 30 seconds on your story. Less than 30 seconds of reading time is counted as a view but not a read.

Why do some of my stories have claps but not views?

Some surfaces on Medium allow readers to clap without accessing the story. That’s why you might see a discrepancy between the number of views and the number of claps.

If a reader accesses your story and claps but spends less than 5 seconds on the story, that view won’t be counted either.

Remember that, for your earnings calculations, those claps will not be counted, even if they are made by a member. If they clap for your story before clicking into it, that clap will only count toward your earnings once they read the story.

When are stats updated?

We are improving our systems to provide more timely data, and we hope to release these updates in the following weeks, but this is how different stats are currently updated.

On the stats page:

Number Update Freq
Views chart (30 days) Hourly
Views, Reads, Fans Hourly
Claps, Responses Instant
Lifetime Earnings Daily

On the story stats page:

Section Number Update Freq
Lifetime Earnings, Views, Reads 1-3 times per day
Lifetime Read ratio  
Monthly earnings Earnings chart Daily
Monthly views Total views, Member views, Non-member views, Total reads, Member read ratio Hourly if the story is less than 30 days old, daily after that.
Monthly engagement Total clappers, Total highlighters, Total responders, Total follows Hourly if the story is less than 30 days old, daily after that.

How will old content be affected by these changes?

Your previously published stories will continue earning if they are paywalled. Starting August 1, any new interactions will be counted on those stories and will add to your earnings, but previous interactions will not be taken into account.

Will the previous reads from non-paying members be added to our earnings when they become paying members?

Only the interactions made by actual members will count toward your earnings. Previous activity from that reader will not be retroactively added to your earnings.

How can member only stories have non-member reads?

These are all the possible ways a non-member read can happen on a paywalled (member-only) story:

  1. A non-member lands on the story and reads the visible portion above the paywall for 30 seconds.
  2. A user without a Medium account lands on a paywalled story and creates a new account to read the story for free.
  3. A non-member reads a paywalled story via the Friend link.
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