Recently in 2023 Redbubble announced unilateral core important changes towards their Artists community.
Directly back-stabbing and against all logic, moral, ethic and good intentions, Redbubble announced a new account tier system starting from Standard to premium and pro.
The controversy comes in the starting “Standard” tier as Redbubble will be charging now a new fee on top of the low benefits from the starting artist’s account, the fee goes from 30 to 50% of earning confiscation.
It is said that a “system” filtered all accounts and sorted them in this new 3 tier status purely on objective data such as sales, followers, likes on products, designs uploaded etc, but the truth is, this is a total mess!
People with 0 sales been put in Premium or Pro trier and other accounts like my own with a legacy from 2015 with over 6.4K sales been put on standard tier with the new abusive fees.
It is also stated that Artists have no word or right to ask for a tier upgrade, any way of contact to Redbubble about this matter, a bot sends a copy/paste reply with a link of this new announcement.
This is in any way, being transparent or friendly towards your artist community. Now of course they know what are they doing, the question is WHY so let’s talk bit about that
Why Redbubble took this path against their own artists?
Long story short, the answer is very simple, money. They desperately need money to avoid total bankruptcy this same year.
For those who don’t know, Redbubble is an Australian company and is integrated into the stock market, the company rose up during the pandemic of 2020 and 2021 going from aprox a $0.90 x share to a $6 x share! Amazing numbers! but only to fall from $6 down to currently $0.75 from 2022 to 2023 current timing.
The company is deep in dept only to keep operating, but it’s losing money all over the place with 10% less sales, more and more problems, more dept and their stock market value rapidly going downhill towards 0.
The company needs CASH at the same time of cutting on expenses, they first move? tax on the 95% of their artists accounts which are low sales, at the same time totally discouraging new artists to start on this platform.
Their KEY feature? keep the 5% of top-selling artists by “inventing” this absurd tier list and put this 5% into premium or pro tier lists.
The trust on this platform is totally broken, not even mention all the quality problems on products from the clients side of story.
Last but not least, there’s another factor that a few could gaze of what’s going to be the future of Redbubble..
It’s current CEO expressed the interest to implement AI tools into the platform which only objective is to slowly but steady totally take away the “artists” from the equation and offer directly to the clients, saving to split revenue to any third person, maybe they will partner or buy a license from big houses like -Disney to be able to sell AI generated art based on their IPs.
Anyway, the future is not bright and if such a big company as Redbubble is falling apart, this only means one thing, this is the end of an era, the end of Internet 2.0 business model that kick started back in 2010 and lasted until now.
Hard times to all independent artists, but only thing is sure, new things will come and we must adapt to the new times.