Can Medium have 100 million paying members?

Henryk A. Kowalczyk
7 min readMay 10, 2024
Illustration designed by DALL·E 2

When I joined Medium in 2017, it provided monthly updates with limited insight into the statistics. Gradually, however, they disappeared, leaving members guessing how well the platform was doing.

Medium CEO Tony Stubblebine recently offered insight into the platform’s growth. He revealed that on April 9, 2024, the community had reached a milestone of one million paying members.

Can Medium be 100 times larger?

How realistic is it? Tony asks himself that question, as he had once confessed publicly.

Ev Williams launched Medium in August 2012. To simplify our speculations, let us assume that 11 years ago, by April 2013, the platform was out of its infancy. It took about 11 years to reach one million subscribers. How much time might it take to get 100 million?

To find it out, we must look at the pace of growth. Assuming that Medium had no more than a few thousand subscribers 11 years ago and growth was steady, on average, each year brought about 90,000 new subscribers. At that pace, adding 99 million subscribers would take 1,100 years. It would be the year 3124.

In his article, Tony mentioned that Medium gained about 1,000 new subscribers within a day; it would be 365,000 yearly. Keeping this pace of growth, it might take 271…



Henryk A. Kowalczyk

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