I’m also a member, and support Medium — because the platform is awesome, and the quality of the writing here is usually pretty high. But, as for that partner program… I tried it & basically earned zip. So, I turned it off on all of my stories.
I look at my stats — usually around 6,000 views/month — and it seems as though that would be enough to make at least a little (although, I’d have to go back and edit each of my hundreds of stories to enable the partnership thing again). But, really, out of those 6,000+ views, I’d say I get about 1 comment per month. So, I’ve always been a little leery of the analytics, anyway.
I guess if you’re truly popular here, maybe the partnership thing is a possibility. But, for unknown people, it may actually either do nothing or even make matters worse. At least when you’re not publishing stories under the partner program, there are no restrictions for others to view your story. No restrictions could mean more exposure, in some ways. So, maybe that’s just better for some. IDK… just thinking out loud.