craftsy is back

The new Craftsy.com will launch sometime this week.

Many crafters and craft instructors were saddened to learn in late May that NBCUniversal had decided to shut down Bluprint, the video-on-demand site originally called Craftsy they’d purchased and rebranded three years prior. Then, things seem to turn around on July 1 when TN Marketing, a niche video-on-demand company based in Minneapolis, bought the Craftsy assets, promising to preserve them for users. Now, that day is just around the corner.

The new Craftsy.com will look familiar to most users. All of the classes that customers had purchased when Bluprint closed will be in their accounts at launch. TN Marketing decided to revert back to the Craftsy brand, rather than sticking with the short-lived Bluprint moniker. There will be both a subscription and an a la carte model. Subscriptions will be available monthly for $7.99 and annually for $79.99 and individual courses will be $39.99 with frequent discounts down to $29.99 and $19.99.

A few changes

One major difference will be the addition of advertising on the new Craftsy site. TN Marketing runs ads on all of their niche video-on-demand sites and Craftsy.com will be no different.

Another major deviation from the original Craftsy is that there will be no pattern marketplace. Before the NBCUniversal buyout, Craftsy had a robust marketplace where designers could sell their patterns to customers with no transaction fee. After Craftsy became Bluprint, the marketplace was drastically cut back so that only a very few patterns remained. TN Marketing is not planning to have a pattern marketplace at all, at least not at launch, citing the technical challenges involved in setting something like this up.

TN Marketing is also not planning to have a retail shop like Bluprint and the original Craftsy had. Sourcing, staffing, warehousing, and shipping supplies at scale is a whole other sort of business that they are not prepared to take on, and therefore they didn’t purchase these assets when they bought the brand. Instead, they’re looking at offering more classes on DVD. TN Marketing currently offers classes on their other niche video-on-demand businesses on DVD and they feel there’s a strong opportunity to bundle online Craftsy courses (either a la carte or subscription) with a DVD at a higher price point. They may offer a limited selection of notions and some kits as well. In addition, they’re looking to partner with existing craft retailers to offer their subscribers discounts on craft products.

Going forward

At launch, there will not be an affiliate program in place, but there are plans to use ShareASale to build one out in the coming months, similar to the program that Craftsy had in the past. In fact, the affiliate manager who worked at Craftsy and Bluprint is now working at TN Marketing and will be managing the program.

TN Marketing is working on creating social media accounts for Craftsy. The @becraftsy accounts were pointed to @bluprint after the NBCUniversal buyout. Getting those straightened out is going to take a little more time.

TN Marketing does plan to continue to produce new classes once conditions for gathering are safe again. They’re hoping to begin in the fourth quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021. New classes will focus on the most popular subject areas on Craftsy including sewing, quilting, knitting, and crochet. TN Marketing classes use multiple cameras and good lighting, but the process is different from producing a traditional Craftsy class (see a few examples of a TN Marketing class here and here). Classes will be filmed at TN Marketing’s headquarters in Wayzata, Minnesota, a Minneapolis suburb. TN Marketing is launching a new vertical focused on art and it looks as though the art-focused content may go there in the future.

A course page with customer questions below.

When Craftsy became Bluprint the expectation of instructor interaction with students dramatically decreased. TN Marketing will not be bringing that expectation back. There will be a Q&A associated with each class, but it looks as though some questions may be answered by the TN Marketing customer service team, rather than a back and forth between the instructor and the student.

The TN Marketing acquisition closed on July 1. Since then they’ve migrated 1,500 classes and 23,000 total assets from Bluprint/Craftsy to the new site. They’ve loaded 8 million class units into over 1 million buyer accounts. The new site looks to have a fairly simple homepage, with plenty of the familiar Craftsy orange and a clean design. Look for it sometime this week.

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