There ought to be a reason or set of reasons someone gets paid by Medium….driving traffic, number of reads, number of recommendations, number of writers they actively are mentoring, etc….not just that they are valued writers.
The problem that will occur tho if Medium goes for a paywall is that the best of writing won’t be there. They’ll be in the free section that’s loaded with the indie writers. After all, some of the best writing is in the rags not the major publications.
And is Medium qualified to select who the stellar writers are? Or will they hire those who are?
Given the number of blogging platforms around the net Medium will need to have tactics to draw in the best. Pay isn’t one of them. Medium will need to have writers exclusive to Medium and curated by Medium much like art galleries. This way Medium can be part of the royalty model if publications outside of Medium wish to use their exclusive articles or writers.