I would say you are right about the partner program changing. I have little faith that it will be for the better, though. I have little interest in the content Medium deems as being important as it is and doubt that it will improve. I do a whole lot of scrolling on Medium and usually I find something I am actually interested in reading just by stumbling across it, or the author has chosen to follow me and I look into what they have written. I like the back roads of Medium; I find the main drag to be boring.