NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment is turning its Craftsy acquisition into a subscription-based on-demand video service renamed Bluprint.
This new iteration of Craftsy seems to be built with the exact same blueprint LinkedIn used when it bought Lynda.com, renamed it LinkedIn Learning, and switched from per-video viewing to a monthly subscription model.
The name of the site has already been changed, though the Craftsy logo still appears in a corner. The mobile app for Craftsy will keep the name and will not change. Craftsy has a subscription version called Craftsy Unlimited. Those with the Craftsy Unlimited mobile app are being encouraged to switch to the Bluprint app.
Craftsy Unlimited on Roku will become the Bluprint channel on Roku, the company said. The changeover will start July 17 and will roll out across Roku’s full footprint over the course of the following week. The company said the update will be automatic.
The Craftsy FAQ about the change includes a link with particulars about the new subscription model. As of Tuesday morning, that link leads to a page that says “Oops. The page you were looking for does not exist.” Variety reports the monthly subscription will be $15, with a discount for a yearly subscription, which costs $120.
The company assured people who have purchased classes from Craftsy that they will be able to keep their purchases, and people will still be able to purchase videos in the future.
The site retains its focus on arts and crafts, such as crocheting, cake decorating and woodworking, though with the name change it has also expanded into fitness, dance, yoga and home decorating.
NBCUniversal bought Craftsy in 2017. The new regime swore fealty to Craftsy’s personal arts and crafts provenance. “Think of Bluprint as everything you love about Craftsy, and then some,” the company said in a blog introducing the changes. “We’re talking original series, speedy projects (busy people, we’re talking to you), great articles and tutorials, and all the expert classes you count on.”
The site features videos in which celebrities from the NBCUniversal roster of on-air personalities offer guidance. Among them are Joshua John Russell, who appears on the Food Network, NBC everyman Al Roker, who offers tips on grilling, and “Food Rush” host Ryan Scott.
NBCUniversal informed its instructors that a major national marketing campaign is scheduled.
So what inspired the big makeover? Funny you should ask. “So what inspired our big makeover?” the blog asks. It doesn’t answer the question.
The name might be a clue, however. Blueprints have little to do with arts and crafts; blueprints are the product of professional architecture and a metaphor for professional processes.
This hasn't been lost on some patrons of Craftsy. This comment from a knitting site is typical: “Doesn’t sound like crafts, to me, it sounds like construction!”
The choice of the name might say more about where NBCUniversal wants to take Bluprint than it states on the web site. By turning Craftsy into Bluprint and adopting a subscription model, Bluprint is already heading toward where LinkedIn Learning is now. LinkedIn Learning has been successful with instructional videos on a variety of professional subjects, ranging from general management practices to specific engineering techniques.