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Medium can’t make money selling ads, lays off one third of staff

Medium CEO Ev Williams says his company’s ad-based business model isn’t working, and the startup is laying off 50 employees and closing its offices in New York and Washington, D.C., as a result.

That’s about one third of the company’s employees.

In a blog post shared on Wednesday, Williams said he wants to move away from ad-supported content, which is how most stuff on the internet generates revenue. Williams described that business model, which is almost entirely dependent on clicks and views, as a “broken system.”

“The vast majority of articles, videos, and other ‘content’ we all consume on a daily basis is paid for  —  directly or indirectly —  by corporations who are funding it in order to advance their goals,” Williams wrote. “And it is measured, amplified, and rewarded based on its ability to do that. Period. As a result, we get … well, what we get. And it’s getting worse.”

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