J, I would like to share my experience with making all my stories member-only.
I have embraced the The Medium Partner Program. I think writers (and all creative workers) should be paid for their work. And like that Medium is trying to do that through the partner program.
The only time I don’t make a story member-only is when I submit one to a publication. I understand that some readers are not Medium members, but I think making stories member-only can actually encourage readers to become members. Which benefits Medium and its writers. Medium membership is not expensive. The same price per month as one of those fancy coffees some writers ask you to buy them. Well worth $5 per month or $50 per year (an even better deal.)
I don’t think I am being being “antisocial” to non-members. I am simply assigning value to my work instead of giving it away. If they really want to read one of my stories they can use one of their 3 freebies. Or better yet, become a member.
I actually put a publication I started on hiatus because I don’t have the option of posting member-only stories. And I grew tired of giving away stories that I could have been getting paid for.
I realize I’m small potoatoes on Medium. However, in my experience, I don’t get many more actual reads of unlocked stories in popular publications than I do with my own members-only stories. In fact, my top 10 most read stories are all member-only. Maybe that is because my writing is not great, or too quirky, or not about popular topics. But that is my experience none the less. So I am sticking with all member-only stories (except publications.)