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Nabaroo for Artists Review

Friday, January 15th, 2016

Jim Plaxco's Nabaroo Account
Jim Plaxco’s Nabaroo Account

A few days ago I received an invitation to join an online site for artists named Nabaroo. I had never heard of them but as stated in their email, Nabaroo is a new network for artists and I was being extended an invitation "based on your exceptional work." I regularly receive unsolicited invitations from businesses marketing one service or another. In fact I recently received an invitation from another online service for artists – that one being a print on demand site. In checking them out I decided that they were not a site that I wanted to do business with. You can read my review of their service in the article A Review of Selling Art on Artist Become (artistbe.com).

So I decided to give Nabaroo a look. In some respects, UI/UX for example, Nabaroo is similar to Pinterest. In other respects it is unique. It has a clean design and it is easy to create collections so you can organize your art into groups. They also make it very easy to add new content. Aside from being able to post/share your art and videos (in a process called nabbing), the site offers a Discussions feature and a Jobs section where artists can search for employment opportunities.

What I found particularly appealing, and unique, is Nabaroo’s Shop feature. When an artist shares their art on Nabaroo they are given the opportunity to add a link that directs viewers to the product page for that artwork, where ever that may be. Upon learning this I decided to do some fast data mining. I grabbed the first 500 artworks that showed up in my Buy Original Artwork from Nabaroo Artists stream. Following are the top print-on-demand/art products web sites that were linked to.

Online Vendor Artworks
society6.com 174
etsy.com 68
redbubble.com 37
inprnt.com 17
storenvy.com 17
saatchiart.com 11
crated.com 7
altitxde.com 6
displate.com 5
bigcartel.com 5
teepublic.com 5

I was surprised by the dominance of Society6. Notably absent from this list are such popular print-on-demand art print sites as Artflakes, CafePress, FineArtAmerica, Imagekind, and Zazzle. At this point I must offer the following supplementary information. The above is simply a count based on the number of artworks and not artists. For example, all of the 174 artworks for Society6 could have come from one artist. So these numbers should not be used to judge how popular a platform is with artists. I could have produced that number but the process of associating artists with individual artworks would have required much more work on my part. However, I can say that these 500 artworks came from 221 artists and that the number of artworks per artist ranged from 1 to 11 with an average of 2.26 artworks per artist. So it is safe to say that based on this information, it appears that the three most popular platforms for artists who are active on Nabaroo are Society6, Etsy, and Redbubble.

Also with respect to the above table, it is worth noting that a few of the artists, rather than linking to a product page, directed their "Buy on" link back to non-product web sites like their Facebook fan page or their Nabaroo account. I don’t know that this is a strategy that I would use but it is clearly an option.

Adding Art to Nabaroo

Adding art (or videos) to Nabaroo is quite simple. The dialog for adding (nabbing) art gives artists the option to either upload an image or video from their computer or from a web page (a very nice option). Artists are offered the following fields to describe their art/video:

  • caption – a text field for providing a description of the art
  • collection – a drop down list that allows an artist to add the art to a collection (or to simultaneously create a new collection to which the art will be added)
  • Buy on link – a field for providing a link to where the art can be bought
  • tags – tags for categorizing the art for improved searches

When adding (aka nabbing) art, you also have the option to share your nab on one or more social networks simultaneously.

My Nabaroo Account

In reviewing Nabaroo, I really like what I’ve seen and have created an account. While I have yet to really begin posting content you can see my account at:

Jim Plaxco’s Nabaroo Account

My only concern is with respect to their business model. At this time the site is free of advertisements and is free for artists to use. The only source of revenue I see is with respect to companies wanting to post job openings on the site – and even that is free for Nabaroo artists. As Nabaroo grows in popularity the site will require ever more computing resources to support that growth. I will be very curious to see what steps Nabaroo takes to generate the income they will need to pay their bills.

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