The company has an agreement to buy a majority stake in the destination, NBCU Cable Entertainment Group Chairman Bonnie Hammer told staffers today in a memo.
“At its heart, Craftsy is a digital network with its own production studios, which we view as an extension of our own studios,” she says. “Just as Universal Cable Productions and Wilshire Studios develop and produce content for our networks and other outlets, Craftsy’s lifestyle learning studios supply content for its own branded online network. And we believe that the interests and passions of our shared audiences naturally align.”
Cross-promotions of Craftsy via Comcast’s Project Symphony intra-company collaborations will “exponentially” increase awareness, she adds. That’s “an exciting prospect considering that the crafts retail market alone is estimated to be a $30-40 billion dollar business.”
She also sees opportunities to add Craftsy’s specialists to “long and short-form entertainment content that can live in linear as well as digital spaces. …. Imagine synergies with shows like Bravo’s Top Chef and Syfy’s Face Off and opportunities to develop creative new content for kids on Sprout.”
NBCU Cable Entertainment’s Strategy and Commercial Growth President Dave Howe will oversee Craftsy, which has 190 employees in Denver and Indianapolis. Its CEO and co-founder John Levisay will report to Howe.
With more than 2 million active visitors per week, Craftsy offers classes in fields including cooking, cake decorating, knitting, quilting, jewelry-making and — what Hammer calls “my personal favorite” — photography.
Users also can buy “the materials, tools and kits needed to master their passions,” she says.
NBCU’s other digital investments include Snap, Vox, and Buzzfeed.