On June 10th, 2014 we launched the Blender Market. Our aim was to create a platform for selling Blender products, enabling artists and developers to start and grow a business based on Blender.
Two and a half years later we are making good progress towards this goal: providing a viable livelihood for Creators all over the world.
Throughout 2016 our sales numbers improved and the rate of top-notch Creators and products continued to grow. This post is a brief report on our growth.
Progress in 2016
In no particular order, here are some stats on our progress in 2016 compared to 2015.
- The total published products grew to 676 from 403.
- In 2016 we processed 7,489 orders, whereas 2015 had 4,879 orders.
- Revenue grew ~25%, grossing $182,349.64 USD in 2016 compared to $145,020.54 in 2015.
- We paid out $119,880.38 to Creators and the Blender Dev Fund in 2016 while 2015 paid out $91,689.84.
Below is the graph of monthly sales over 2015 and 2016. Only one month in 2016 failed to surpass the previous year, which was due to the 1.2x release of RetopoFlow.
Note: the sum of monthly sales will vary slightly from the reported gross revenue. We track gross revenue via bank transfers, causing an offset in actual values.
In addition to improving numbers, we also made some big changes to the architecture that powers the Blender Market. More specifically, we completely rebuilt the site from the ground up. We switched from using Wordpress and a myriad of plugins to a custom Ruby on Rails site, giving us much more flexibility and control over the experience. This rebuild was sorely needed and a long time coming.
Goals in 2017
With our new architecture running smoothly and solid growth from 2016, we're focused on kicking it up a notch in 2017. There is a lot we want to do with and for the Market, but below are three general goals for this year.
Give Creators more autonomy to not just sell through the market but build a business through it. This includes providing more privileges to proven Creators, enabling them to publish new products and interact with their customers more easily.
Do more to analyze sales trends and market insight for Creators, giving them the data they need to make informed choices on where their time is best invested. For example, it makes no sense to invest hours of time into a product if there's no chance for that product to sell. We need to do more to help Creators know what kinds of products provide real value to customers.
To date, the Blender Market has not made a dime of profit. The market is a CG Cookie project and one we believe in whole-heartedly. We have invested quite a sum of money, energy, and a lot of time into making the market a reality. We continue to stand by this.
As we near our 3rd birthday (June 10th) a key goal of 2017 is to break even. We are not in this for the money but the long-term future of the Market depends on it paying for itself, as a viable and sustainable business.
Are you interested in selling on the Blender Market, helping to grow the ecosystem for all Creators?