TechCrunch50 versus DEMO by the Numbers

Ashton Kutcher greets 2nd Security Forces Squa...Image via Wikipedia

Now that the launch conference Ultimate Smack Down — TechCrunch50 v. DEMO— is over, I figured I’d take a few minutes (now going on few hours) to look at which conference’s presenting companies were more successful in generating press this week, based on a little Google News and Blogs research.  And here are the results:      * TechCrunch50       52 companies       790 press mentions of presenting companies       7,338 blog posts mention presenting companies       15 avg. press mentions per company       141 avg. blog post mentions per company       9.3 blog posts per each news story     * DEMOfall08 (WINNER!)       73 companies       2,237 mentions of presenting companies in articles       11,225 mentions of presenting companies in blog posts       31 avg. press mentions per company       156 avg. blog post mentions per company       5.0 blog posts per each news story

A couple observations– DEMO companies received a much more uniform amount of press coverage (i.e. Google News hits) .  The top 25% of companies at DEMO received 3.3 times more press mentions than the average of the bottom 25%.  At Techcrunch50, the difference between the top and bottom quartiles was quite a bit more extreme– 8X.  This suggests some the best TechCrunch50 companies got much more press coverage that the worst, whereas at DEMO even the least-covered did ok compared to the most-covered.

But… if you look at blog coverage, TechCrunch50 was more uniform (they ended up with roughly the same distribution of coverage between bloggers and press).  TechCrunch50 presenters got more “steady” attention from bloggers; even weak DEMO presenters got a disproportionate share of coverage from traditional press.

The companies that got the most coverage at each conference were microcosms of these events– TechCrunch50’s big press winner was Ashton Kutcher’s BlahGirls with 78 press mentions (or measured by blog posts, DropBox, with 379).  At DEMO, it was Plastic Logic with 117 press stories and 2,367 blog posts.

While this is all very interesting, it would be too strong to declare DEMO the absolute winner; I have a few thoughts and caveats:

  • * Mainstream tech and business press are still attending DEMO.  Kara
    Swisher told me she was at DEMO Monday and Tuesday, and was hoping to
    swing by Techcrunch50 afterward.
  • * Techcrunch50 presenters tend to be smaller startups with a small (or no) PR budget
  • * DEMO offered more established companies (e.g. Best Buy) who have press who cover them regularly
  • * DEMO has more presenters, increasing the likelihood of round-up stories that mention multiple companies
  • * DEMO had more companies unveiling core technology, whereas Techcrunch50 was mainly about applications
  • * DEMO wrapped up yesterday; Techcrunch50 just wrapped up today, so some stories may be yet to be written on Wednesday’s presenters (however I’m not sure this was a huge effect if you look at how Monday’s TC50 presenters have fared)
  • * The article counts include wire service press releases — DEMO may have shown more press mentions due to press releases, which many TC50 companies may have skipped.
  • * The general meta coverage has been generally blasé; WebWorkerDaily said that it was a pretty blah week overall, so they didn’t cover any of it; that trend could favor DEMO because they had the big hit– Plastic Logic.  Who woulda thought this was a hits business?

I’ve saved the searches I used for this analysis (generally “company name”, past week, sorted by date with duplicates included) here: Techcrunch50 Google News Searches; DEMOFall08 Google News Searches.  In a few cases (Rudder, Yammer, Footnote) I had to search company+conference to filter out false positives, which I did manually (so it’s not saved in these searches).

The saved searches are “live” and will continue to update as more articles are filed and echo press comes in, so that should be fun to watch.  Email me if you’d like the spreadsheet (jeremy at buzzstream dot com).

Update: Found a great post from Allen Stern, who was on the ground at both conferences.

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1 comment

  • Jeremey – This has always been a hits business from my 20 years of reporting on tech. – the daily emerging tech news site sister to DEMO conferences – is tracking 72,000 sources using Meltwater, and as of Thursday morning we saw 2,637 news articles (we don’t count news releases). If an article mentions 72 of the companies it counts as only 1 media hit.

    On the homepage – – we have a “Media Buzz ” window showing only the stories from the 101 journalists and bloggers who attended DEMOfall 08, and later we’ll open it up to all the stories from reporters watching the videos and writing from those and their own interviews.

    Thanks for your post. We link to it. Mary Fallon, editor-in-chief and site producer


    Mary Fallon, editor-in-chief