Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher’s new ‘Code’ conference has opened registration today. The conference is a near identical reboot of the ‘Dx’ events that they’ve been putting on for the last decade.
The conference is being held in the same place as D11 and at roughly the same time. The same team is producing it as well. Essentially this is D12 by another name. The conference went with the pair as they exited Dow Jones after a lengthy period of negotiation followed by outside investment by NBC Universal and Windsor Media.
The event is an offshoot of the new Re/code blog, itself a new version of the All Things D site. It features a lineup of writers and editors that followed the pair from Dow Jones, along with a few additions.
The conference has a $6,500 price tag, so it sits firmly on the premium end of the market. At those prices — and assuming a sellout of tickets and sponsorship slots — the event is set to pull in millions in revenue for the new firm.
The fate of the conferences was one of the big questions surrounding the split of All Things D from its Wall Street Journal parental unit. The names ended up staying but the bones, flesh and skeleton look like they made it out intact. Name recognition will likely still play a part here, so it will be interesting to see what kind of uptake the ‘Code’ event has, and whether the ‘D’ reputation is enough to boost it.
There’s also the question of why exactly it’s called ‘Code’, though we’re assuming that has to do with the site’s name, as there does not appear to be any actual programming planned.
While the site and its advertising revenue were obviously part of the calculations made by NBC when choosing to invest, the conferences were likely a major part of the negotiations.
They’re wholly programmed by Mossberg, Swisher and the site staff, and we hear that Dow Jones had little to do with that side of things. For the past couple of years they have also been spinning up independent conferences hosted by editors like Ina Fried and Peter Kafka. These smaller events and their programming are centered around those editor’s beats like mobile and media.
Re/code joins several other blogs in taking investment in order to exist and expand, but differs in that its investment comes solidly from the media sector, rather than VC firms. Conflict is conflict, but getting backing from media partners was likely a decision made to minimize the ethical questions that inevitably arise once outside money comes in.
The conference has played host to a series of high-profile interviews like a joint Steve Jobs/Bill Gates session. This year’s speakers will include Google’s Sergey Brin, Kleiner Perkins’ Mary Meeker, Brian Krzanich of Intel, Comcast’s Brian Roberts, John Chen of BlackBerry, Steve Mollenkopf of Qualcomm, and Travis Kalanick of Uber.
No word yet on whether Apple CEO Tim Cook will make an appearance.