Coopetition with Creative Retailers and Media

The initial success of, an e-learning site for creative people, supports the finding that 9% of active artists have taken a paid online art class ( See the 2012 NAMTA Artists & Art Materials Study produced by Hart). A recent Denver Post article provides intriguing data on Craftsy’s class enrollment (840,000), revenues ($12 million), venture funding, and current focus on fiber arts and cake decorating.

Craftsy is an important force because it is not focused on the 20-something hipster market you might expect; Craftsy serves the creative female 40-year-olds-and-up market. This is the core demographic targeted by specialty art supply, yarn, sewing, and craft retailers and media companies.

These  “classic” competitors would do well to examine how their own learning offerings stack up against Craftsy’s. Think of customer needs around learning: Does your business meet those learning needs better than Craftsy? How can you differentiate from Craftsy? Can you harness the Craftsy technology and teacher platform through a partnership with them?