Online publishing platform Medium will lay off 50 employees and shutter offices in New York and Washington D.C., according to a blog post from Medium CEO Ev Williams posted Wednesday.
The layoffs, which Medium says primarily affects sales and business staff, and reorganization come as the company plans to pivot away from its current partially ad-supported traffic model. While the company was initially founded as an alternative to the audience incentives of traditional ad-supported content networks, Williams wrote that the company struggled to balance the existing market with its early ambitions.
"In building out this model, we realized we didn’t yet have the right solution to the big question of driving payment for quality content," Williams said. "We had started scaling up the teams to sell and support products that were, at best, incremental improvements on the ad-driven publishing model, not the transformative model we were aiming for."
However, what this new model is and its effects on Medium's other projects remain up in the air. Williams says that Medium's pivot will allow it to take time to develop "a new model for writers and creators to be rewarded, based on the value they’re creating for people." Additionally, outlets like The Awl Network and The Ringer moved to or launched on Medium as a hosting platform. But as Digiday reported, traffic gains for many of the outlets have been mixed.