2 Reads = $0.02; 1 Read = $0.87; WTF Is Going On?

Why are Medium earnings so volatile?

Mike Lewis


Photo by the author

I know that you get paid more for longer read time and for reads by Friends of Medium but that doesn't explain all the weird results I'm getting.

The more I delve into my stats, the more confusing it gets.

And just when I think I've found a pattern, the pattern changes.

The results in the title are from a story I wrote a few days ago. I published this article on the 20th February.

Here is the breakdown of views, reads, and earnings for each day.

The views and reads are from members only.

20th Feb: 10 views, 7 reads, $0.71 earnings, $0.10 per read

21st Feb: 13 views, 8 reads, $0.58 earnings, $0.07 per read

22nd Feb: 2 views, 2 reads, $0.02 earnings, $0.01 per read

23rd Feb: 1 view, 1 read, $0.87 earnings, $0.87 per read

24th Feb 1 view, I read, $0.31 earnings, $0.31 per read

Highest earnings are on a day with only 1 view and 1 read — Screenshot by the author

Now, the question is how can a read be worth $0.01 one day and $0.87 the next? It makes no sense at all.

The read ratio was 100% on both days.

The story is a 2-minute read, so even if the person reading on the $0.87 day read for longer and was a FoM, it doesn't account for the 87X higher payment.

Have you folks noticed similar things with your earnings?

Do you have any theories about what's going on?