The Medium math doesn't add up.
One writer I follow was frustrated at her $800 a month income. But when you do the math, Medium has to find 192 new subscribers a year to pay her. And that assumes all the fees go directly to her.
Another writer, whose profile I can't find right now and whose great article I should have saved, more or less nailed the psychology of Medium contributors. We are here mostly for ourselves: to get some exposure and cash. Selfish, but true. And we somehow believe that we are going to win the Medium lottery one day.
You've been here longer than I. From your story, it seems Medium has become a lot more popular since you started. It has attracted more selfish writers looking to get lucky without doing much reading. In fact, one "get-rich-on-Medium" article suggested that a Medium writer should write once a day but not participate in reading and commenting as those activities time from writing. There's probably a lot of truth to that.
Here's some more math. I follow about 150 Medium contributors. If each of them posts an article a day, my feed cannot cover these articles. And I don't have enough time in the day to read all their articles.
In the end, if a writer is not getting results on Medium, that writer has the freedom to leave. For me, it makes little sense to spend four hours to write and only get 20 reads. I'm on my way out too. I've given it a good shot and it's time to move on.
Medium, it seems, is going to evolve. A few will get lucky, most won't.