A partnership between Source3 and CD Baby could lead to an explosion of 3D printed merchandise.
Source3, if you’re not familiar with them, is a 3D licensing company that assists brand owners with creating and deploying licensed 3D merchandise using 3D printing. And they can do this at large scales, too. Source3 has had a few interesting 3D print deals already, which have transformed certain game content into legally usable 3D prints.
Meanwhile, CD Baby is a huge online music store and digital aggregator of independent music recordings. Source3 indicates that CD Baby currently handles music for over 400,000 musicians!
Certainly we will not suddenly see 3D printed merchandise from 400,000 musicians appear, but it’s quite possible we may see relatively large numbers of branded items appear for sale on 3D print service platforms. We’re talking perhaps hundreds or even thousands of items, should they prove popular.
And why wouldn’t they? Each musician or musical group has a rapid following of varying sizes, and that following may have a strong interest in acquiring band-branded objects. A given musician may not have a huge following, so there may not be many objects sold, but in the case of 3D printing, it doesn’t matter! objects will simply be printed on demand, avoiding the issue of mass production startup costs.
Another way to put it would be to say Source3 and CD Baby have discovered a way to address the “long tail” of band merchandising. It’s also possible they may even be able to customize prints for the requestor, too. Imagine yourself appearing in a 3D print of your favorite band on stage, for example.
This is a brilliant business solution that could generate a whale-sized wave of 3D printing activity.