The Billfold et al did start off elsewhere, moved to Medium, then after Medium’s recent change in direction, moved back to their previous platforms — taking their readership with them at each stage. And it’s interesting to read the comments (specifically on The Billfold) concerning their move back to Wordpress. Many readers are happy with the move. Case in point:
That said, Medium is a great place for independent writers to build an audience. I don’t think there’s anyone who has or would counter that argument. But Medium is still, in the end, a business, and the addition of publications hosted on Medium only helped to increase readership on the platform. A withdraw of a publication with an established readership can only hurt Medium, not help it. Now their model (at least from what I can see) hinges on $5/month from users. Question is, how many users — use to free online content, even if it’s subpar in nature — find Medium valuable enough to make the $5 monthly contribution.
Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.