Etsy Partners with Lionsgate to Provide Licensed Products
Etsy, an e-commerce platform where artists and designers can sell their products, announced that it has launched a pilot program with Lionsgate's Summit Entertainment to allow the creation and sale of licensed items for the film "The Divergent Series: Insurgent", in conjunction with the film's home release this month.
According to a blog post on Etsy, 11 sellers are participating in the program. Morgan Blake, director of business development for Etsy, said that the program aims to help sellers gain access to new projects that otherwise may not be available to them.
"Brand licenses for official merchandise may be difficult or impossible to obtain independently, and we are helping to facilitate connections between sellers and brands, like Lionsgate, to explore new partnerships," Blake said in the post. "We've been developing this pilot program with Lionsgate since late last year, and it will run for six months."
Sellers have posted "Insurgent"-themed items, such as jewelry, T-shirts and printed products. Shoppers can find the products at www.etsy.com/finds/insurgent.
Kelly Phelan, executive vice president of global franchise management and strategic partnerships for Lionsgate, said that the partnership allows Etsy sellers to connect with fellow fans of the film series. "We see it as a win-win for everyone," she added.
The new program received mixed reviews from Etsy users, as they voiced their opinions on the site's discussion board.
"Seriously. Etsy is no longer the home of independent artists," said Rebeca Mahler on the discussion board. "It is already super saturated with big name, unlicensed products … now this? How are us little fish supposed to compete with these big fish?"
Another user, Clare Hughes, was more favorable.
"[This] is a major tactical move by Etsy," she said. "If this works, Etsy have [sic] the potential to corner the market as the home of officially licensed fan art. Instead of fighting it they are embracing it. Awesome."
In order to qualify for the program, the 11 sellers had to meet certain requirements. According to Etsy's FAQ page, these requirements include being in good standing on the site and demonstrating an interest in the film, among others. The site also noted that Etsy hopes to add more sellers to the program in the future. Sellers can apply to sell licensed items in their shops, and the site will gather feedback on this current program to gauge interest for similar programs in the future.
To view the full blog post, visit www.blog.etsy.com.