ExtraCrunch, TechCrunch launches a membership level of $ 15 / month, offering exclusive content and benefits such as access to a community of founders and vertical experts

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TechCrunch has spent nearly 15 years covering the worlds of technology and startups. This week, he will try to establish a new type of relationship with these communities.

On Tuesday, February 12th, Verizon Media Group's publisher will launch Extra Crunch, a subscription-based product that costs $ 15 a month. Subscribers will get exclusive content, as well as two exclusive features, such as Quick View, which allows users to digest more TechCrunch reports faster.

Subscribers also benefit from offline benefits, including member benefits during TechCrunch events; access to a community of founders and upright experts; and invitations to weekly teleconferences where TechCrunch editors present company results, IPOs, and other important technology moments.

Travis Bernard, TechCrunch's audience development manager and product manager for Extra Crunch, said TechCrunch had interviewed readers and event attendees to determine what to include in the product.

Bernard does not share a specific number of publisher-targeted subscribers in the first year, but hopes that Extra Crunch can ultimately convert between one and two percent of TechCrunch readers into subscribers. TechCrunch currently has about 9 million unique visitors per month, according to Comscore.

"We believe that very few publications are as well prepared as we are to build this direct relationship," said Matthew Panzarino, editor of TechCrunch, adding that the desire to add a subscription dimension to TechCrunch did not come from us. any pressure from the parent company of the site. "We pushed this way longer than they did," said Panzarino.

Panzarino and Bernard both stressed that the goal of Extra Crunch was to offer customers more content and benefits, rather than restricting access to the main product or dissociating its products. reporters of their normal daily responsibilities.

This required the hiring of two new editors for Extra Crunch, as well as a marketing manager, who reports to Bernard. The editors will work with Panzarino both to produce content themselves and to guide TechCrunch journalists in producing Extra Crunch content.

This content will focus primarily on in-depth research in specific companies, said Panzarino, as well as on a more continuous, service-oriented content aimed at founders of startups. These would be designed to help the founders answer specific questions, such as when they should hire a full-time lawyer.

"TechCrunch itself has never had an editorial calendar," Panzarino said. "Extra Crunch works a little differently. We have an[n editorial] plan about a quarter on. "

TechCrunch does not try to create a subscriber base from scratch. Its event activity is almost 10 years old and organizes more than a dozen events a year on several continents. More than 15,000 people attend a TechCrunch event each year, Panzarino said. The event activity is sufficiently powerful to protect the subscription from any short-term pressure. Neither leader would want to know if TechCrunch is profitable.

However, even with a second, healthy revenue stream, TechCrunch is part of a larger business unit under pressure. Late last year, Verizon depreciated the value of Verizon Media Group, a group of companies including TechCrunch, by $ 4.6 billion. In January, this group laid off 7% of its workforce. In the company's latest quarterly results, Verizon's chief financial officer, Matt Ellis, told analysts he hoped the group would start contributing again to the results, but did not provide details on the contribution of Verizon Media's constituent parts. Group.