Medium adds a subser option for $5 a month

Medium adds a subser option for $5 a month

I do think subsers (subscription services) are a big part of e-publishing in the future.

We have been happy members of

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*))

since it debuted.

However, just as there are only a handful of popular subsers for video, it’s not going to be easy for companies to make it.

A new entrant into the market is not a new publisher, but a new option.


which publishes lots of articles and is well-known, has just introduced their $5 a month subser:

It doesn’t end the existing model, but it’s more of a premium tier. You get exclusive stories, early access to the latest changes to the interface, and (this one is nice) an offline reading list…you can read articles when you aren’t online.

I’d be happy to be wrong on this, but it just doesn’t seem attractive enough to me.

Kindle Singles sort of serve the same purpose. If you want whole magazine, you can get


for $14.99 a month…and you can read some magazines for free with Kindle Unlimited.

I occasionally hear from some writers that they’ve just published in Medium…but I’ve never really looked at it. If you’ve used Medium, convince me: why would someone pay $5 for an additional helping of Medium?

Mini round-up

  • If you have an iPhone, the Amazon shopping app is upgrading this week, giving you full Alexa access by typing the microphone. I’ve tested it: it turned my lights on and off, answered questions, reported my calendar items, played Prime Music, and I know it can read books out loud. It’s going to come to the shopping app for Android, too
  • I know at least one of my readers uses Vudu, a video company. They’ve added a new feature which will make it much easier (The Verge post by Chris Welch ). You scan the UPC code on a DVD (it will be on the case) you own, pay $2 (for standard definition, $5 for an upgrade to high def…these are the basics, there are more varieties), and (if it’s one of about 8,000 titles), you get a digital version you can watch
  • Do you want a reader for free public domain books? I’ve been playing a bit with AIReader. It has lots of features: text-to-speech (with a lot of variability for speed), tons of appearance adjustments, dictionary, translation, and more. It links to, so there are quite a few books, and it could read other books you’ve downloaded. Like many independent apps, though, figuring out how to use it is a bear! I’m quite technical, and I feel like I’m doing a lot of trial and error to even get to menus. There was Help when it first opened (not sure how to get back to it)…riddled with typos. It’s unfortunate to me that so often, something which may be good software (or certainly adequate) doesn’t have the basic customer interface capabilities. That’s not to say that this isn’t worth it, or that you might not really enjoy it…that’s the issue for me. It’s part of why getting something from an established, big company, even it it doesn’t have everything you want, can be worth it…if it’s easy to use. There is a lot of friction in this app that makes it more for a dedicated user than a casual one. If you try it yourself, I’d be interested in your opinion

What do you think? Do you like Medium? Would you pay for a premium tier? Do you think publishing subsers will be a significant thing? Which is weirder: a platypus or a pangolin? 😉 Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


14 Responses to “Medium adds a subser option for $5 a month”

  1. Phink Says:

    For those interested I just opened my VUDU app on my android phone, went to settings, clicked on ‘disc to digital’ and it said ‘for a limited time get 100% off your first conversion.’

    One reason I like digital movies is the same reason I like digital books. If my home burns down I have not lost my movie collection. I can simply replace the ROKU player and my movies are still with me. The same for burglary’s. floods, etc. When I go visit my brother in Illinois I always take my VUDU stick with me. Imagine a Fire stick but the only thing is does is access VUDU. That means I have over 200 movies with me when I go to his house for a week. One reason I have no interest in the FireTV is VUDU is not on it. It’s on ROKU though.

    One reason I chose VUDU over Amazon once I decided I wanted to go digital on movies (buying, not renting) was for their ‘disc to digital’ feature. It’s always been $2 for SD or $5 for HD (1080) but buy 10 and they are all 1/2 price. At least that was true, I have no idea lately. There was a problem however. If you wanted to convert Blu-Ray I had to do it physically in the store (Walmart) because I did not have a Blu-Ray drive on my computer. In the past you typed in the movie you wanted to convert and then put the disc in your DVD drive and it’d put it in your shopping cart. Now, I can simply scan the Blu-Ray DVD box. Easy Peasy. I believe according to the rules you have to be the owner of the DVD to do this. There will be those that cheat on this rule but I have not.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Phink!

      You could mirror an app from your SmartPhone to a Fire TV, right?

      • Phink Says:

        You sure could. Good point.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Phink!

        That’s how I watch Survivor, by mirroring. My Galaxy S7 is really good at mirroring, in the sense that it’s very simple to do…discovery takes a lot less time than it does on my Kindle Fire, for example.

      • Phink Says:

        I recently got a new Galaxy Note 4 phone and it mirrors to my ROKU. I sometimes stream my Kindle app and read on the TV. Most times it’s when I only have a few minutes such as the 18 minutes between periods of a St. Louis Blues game. Why turn the TV off so I’ll read on it for a bit. When I immersion read it comes through the TV speakers as well and not the phone speaker which is nice.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Phink!

        I do like the mirroring on my Galaxy S7…very simple. I haven’t been reading on my TV, although I have tried reading in VR a couple of different ways: nothing satisfying so far. I’m also not an immersion reader. I have tested a few things…when I have done an audiobook, it does sound great through the TV. However, with a Fire TV, I don’t have to mirror for that: Alexa does it natively.

  2. Phink Says:

    I know this site is not about movies but one more thing about VUDU. It seems most movies now come with a free digital Ultra Violet copy. This is a great benefit and you simply link your Ultra Violet account to your VUDU account and the movies show up there. You can even redeem Ultra Violet movies right on the VUDU page. Even if you don’t watch digital movies it’s a shame to let the redemption code expire. It could be redeemed just in case you want it in the future.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Phink!

      I think my readers will appreciate it. This blog focuses on e-books, publishing, e-book readers, related devices (like Fire tablets)…and Amazon. What the options are for VUDU does affect at least the tablet part…

  3. Edward Boyhan Says:

    For those over on the Android side of the house, Amazon and Huawei have started delivering Alexa capability on the Huawei Mate 9 smartphone. This phone sells for $600 in the US, and has been well-reviewed.

    I was reading somewhere today that Alexa now has over 10,000 skills 😀 .

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      The Amazon Shopping App is also supposed to get the upgrade to Alexa on Android. I’m sure at some point I’ll just address Alexa when I’m in a store or something and get an answer. 😉

  4. Tom Semple Says:

    I am still waiting for Alexa skills to show up in the iOS Amazon app. All it has now are voice commands for checking orders, searching for stuff. I have the latest version, and the app description makes no reference to Alexa features, so I suspect they are rolling this out gradually to certain people. I never use it to shop, because it does not do the Smile donation thing.

    As for Medium, it is not a very important source of news/opinion/etc for me, at least so far. I check in a couple of times a week, and have difficulty finding any articles of interest. So it is not something I would pay for at this point.

    I think I checked out the Vudu digital copy feature awhile back. The selection is underwhelming. With some exceptions our DVD/BluRay collection is collecting dust, and I’ve pretty much stopped buying any new ones. I have accumulated perhaps three dozen UV digital copies but never watch them. I’ve come to prefer subscription services for all of this, it is cheaper than buying a couple of discs a month, instant gratification, good enough selection, etc., supplemented by some video rentals from Amazon. I sometimes miss the ‘special features’ found on discs (commentary tracks especially) but not enough to keep investing in them. Surely this is something that can be delivered via streaming when content providers and services figure out how to monetize it.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Tom!

      I have Alexa in the Amazon Shopping App (Amazon App for iPhone) on my work iPhone. Mine is Version 9.4.2 (1-20141.0). I’m sure you’ll have it soon. 🙂

      As to how you feel about Medium, I suspect that’s not atypical…

      For digital video, I’m like you…I tend to watch the subsers (subscription services): Hulu; Netflix; Amazon Prime. I also watch movies on YouTube (those are sometimes placed there by rightsholders, and are sometimes in the public domain) and on and the like. I do own digital movies, but I sometimes feel a sense of urgency about the subsers, that the video I want to watch might go away before I do. 🙂

      • Tom Semple Says:

        Amazon app version is 9.4.2 as well. Still nothing.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Tom!

        Amazon has promoted it now…if you remember to let me know when you have it, I’ll be thinking about it.

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