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TechCrunch+ Subscription Service Ending Amid Broader Industry Shifts
From:
Kathleen Greenler Sexton --- Subscription Expert Kathleen Greenler Sexton --- Subscription Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Boston, MA
Tuesday, January 30, 2024

 
Source: TechCrunch

TechCrunch, a leading technology publisher known for its in-depth coverage of Silicon Valley, startups, and the tech industry, has announced a significant change in its business model as originally reported by AdWeek. The company is discontinuing its members-only community, TechCrunch+ (TC+), signaling a strategic shift in response to broader industry dynamics. 

TC+ History and Offerings:

Launched in 2019 as ExtraCrunch and later rebranded to TC+ in 2021, the platform had become a hallmark of TechCrunch’s innovative approach to tech journalism. TC+ offered subscribers a suite of exclusive benefits, including access to startup investor surveys, private tech market analyses, expert interviews, and specialized newsletters.

This subscription, priced at $15 per month or $99 per year, represented a significant shift into the world of paid content for a publisher traditionally reliant on advertising revenue. By September 2022, TC+ boasted a 142% increase in subscribers year-over-year, demonstrating its growing influence and the appetite for specialized paid tech content.

As of now, there is no information available regarding the transition plan for current subscribers, including details on compensation or any additional benefits following the termination of the TC+ subscription service.

TechCrunch+ Subscription Paywall on Jan 30, 2024


Reflecting Broader Media Industry Shift

However, the closure of TC+ is not an isolated event but part of a larger trend within the media and publishing industry. Companies are increasingly reevaluating their reliance on paid content subscription models in favor of more accessible, ad-supported content. The digital media landscape has seen a noticeable shift, with giants like Time and Quartz ending their digital subscriptions, and others like Business Insider and Gannett loosening their paywalls.

This strategic shift has tangible consequences per TheWrap, with about eight staff members laid off in the process. These layoffs span both editorial and business operations, including key figures like managing editors Darrell Etherington and Matt Burns. The reduction in staff signals a significant pivot in TechCrunch’s operational focus, potentially affecting its content and long-term strategy.

TechCrunch’s situation mirrors a challenging period for digital media. The industry has seen widespread layoffs and restructuring, with over 2,600 journalism jobs lost in 2023. This trend underscores the volatility and competitiveness of the digital media space.

The future of TechCrunch post-TC+ will likely involve a stronger emphasis on original reporting and free content, aligned with industry trends. For the broader digital media landscape, TechCrunch’s move may signal a need for innovation and flexibility in business models, especially as consumer preferences and economic conditions continue to evolve.

INSIDER TAKE

TechCrunch’s discontinuation of TC+ marks a significant moment in tech journalism, highlighting the challenges and necessary adaptations in an ever-changing digital media world. It underscores the need for media companies to stay agile and responsive to market trends, ensuring their relevance and sustainability in a rapidly evolving industry.

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Dateline: Andover, MA United States
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