A Unified Subscription Model: Learning from Medium’s Approach

Hagen Hübel
2 min readNov 12, 2023

In an era where the digital content landscape is as diverse as it is vast, the way we access this content warrants a critical examination. SubStack’s current model, which mirrors the traditional news and media industry’s approach, presents a challenge: each newsletter demands its own subscription fee. For enthusiasts like myself, pledging allegiance to every newsletter of interest could mean shelling out over $1000 monthly — an investment in time and money that’s hard to justify.

It’s not just about affordability; it’s about practicality. Our time is a finite resource, and the likelihood of continuously engaging with every newsletter we subscribe to is low.

However, not all platforms insist on walking this worn path. Medium stands out as a commendable example, getting it right with a singular, comprehensive subscription that unlocks a vast array of articles from various writers and publications. It embodies the convenience and flexibility that modern readers crave.

The solution? A paradigm shift towards a bundled subscription model. A tiered plan that allows readers to curate their content consumption, picking from a plethora of publications that align with their fluctuating interests and demands. Only some authors capture our attention uniformly; our preferences ebb and flow.

SubStack, and platforms alike, have an opportunity to innovate and adapt. What if SubStack could take a leaf out of Medium’s book? Imagine a tiered subscription model that allows readers to tailor their content diet, picking and choosing from different publications as their interests and demands evolve. The ability to weave in and out of a variety of newsletters without the commitment to each would be a game-changer.

By offering a subscription model that embraces flexibility and variety, they can cater to the dynamic nature of reader engagement. SubStack has the potential to revolutionize the way we consume digital content by adopting a more centralized subscription plan. Such a shift could not only enhance our reading experience but also democratize access to diverse voices and ideas.

What are your thoughts on this? How much would you value a subscription service that lets you select from a range of newsletters according to your current interests?