Why Medium beats Substack and Patreon hands-down

It’s all in the monthly cost

Michael Thorn
3 min readFeb 15


Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

It’s taken a while — I joined Medium in 2020 — but I am now an evangelist for the platform.

My case will be brief, because Medium’s strength — its selling point — is ingeniously simple.

Medium members pay one subscription fee that gives access to ALL the writers on the platform. This is sustainable. This is in the spirit of open access.

Compare that with Patreon and Substack. How sustainable are they? I’d say patently not. To follow just one account on either of those platforms is likely to cost you as much, if not more, than a Medium membership that opens access to countless thousands of accounts.

Here’s an example. This is the Patreon membership page of a photographer I subscribe to (for free) on YouTube. He offers extra material on Patreon. But look at the monthly membership tiers:

Typical membership levels on Patreon

To my mind, this is insane. We have slipped into a ramshackle, micro-publishing world where individual creatives are placing a value on the content they create which pitches them on a par with companies like Netflix or AppleTV+. Like I say, crazy! And unsustainable.

Medium is the way forward.

These, beyond its genius subscription concept, are some of the things I love about Medium:

  1. It’s so easy to start publishing there. The design is clear and extremely user-friendly.
  2. You can write directly and your ‘story’ is autosaved as a draft. I have never had autosave fail to save a draft, though I normally first write in iAWriter Classic and then copy across.
  3. It’s refreshingly ad-free. The only thing advertised and promoted on Medium is the content.
  4. It has excellent built-in stats, which tell you not only how many times your stories/posts have been viewed and read, but where the traffic has come from (inside or outside Medium).
  5. Whether you’re interested in setting up a blog, becoming the editor of a Publication, establishing a newsletter, or finding an…