How TechCrunch Built a Successful Subscription Business

A year ago, TechCrunch launched Extra Crunch — a membership product based around exclusive premium content. Today, Extra Crunch is on track to meeting its revenue goals and matching TechCrunch’s media advertising business.

In this Piano webinar, recorded April 15th, 2020, TechCrunch COO Ned Desmond joins Michael Silberman, SVP Strategy at Piano to discuss the lessons they’ve learned and how you can apply those to your own subscription business.  

Key takeaways:

  • Make sure to create enough quality content for potential subscribers, find out what is impactful for your audience and what drives subscriptions. TechCrunch doubled the number of Extra Crunch articles and increased promotion during the first nine months after launch.
  • Marketing a premium product is a science, no detail is unimportant. Learn from best practices, listen closely to feedback from your readers and test and fine-tune continuously. You need to evolve both the content and your marketing to drive success.
  • Use dashboards and reports to create a feedback loop to your newsroom. They need to learn a new set of metrics — conversions per article instead of page views — and what drives success in subscriptions compared with advertising.
  • A membership is a broader offering then a subscription. Membership means premium content, plus perks, plus knowing that you're in there with likeminded people. TechCrunch incentivizes members to commit to one-year Extra Crunch subscriptions by not offering the perks under the monthly plan.
  • Propensity modelling is an invaluable tool for TechCrunch. Not only does it help them increase subscriptions, but it also educates the team about the preferences their readers have and how to personalize content and offers for optimal results.