2019 Envato Annual Public Impact Statement

Thank you for sharing! Great news and stats.

I can help on this mate. While we mods are active on the forums, we do “patrol” the item graveyard as well, so do reviewers, so do the majority of community oriented staff. There are cases where authors simply decide it’s no longer their cup of tea to be authors and just abandon profiles, while rare, it’s sad.

I strongly recommend you send any dead file to Envato Authors Help and Support. The procedure for this is simple. There can be cases where the Author forgot to pay his hosting subscription or is just having server issues, but, staff will attempt to get in touch with the respective author.

If the author doesn’t reply / take action to “revive” his dead items he’s items will be disabled. In case you see buyers in these situations, please send them over to Envato Buyerst Help and Support, as these do fall under refundable issues, since, a buyer is entitled to 6 month included support, an abandoned item means that isn’t granted.

Although these cases are rare, be sure to report them to support! You don’t need to be a Moderator or Staff member to help keep Envato clean! (remember, there are a handful of reviewers and a few million items, kind of hard to keep up with them all, haha! )

Last year I reported a couple cases, and they were swiftly dealt with (under 2-4 days). Cheers mate! :slight_smile:

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Hey all! Back again with more answers to questions – thank you for your patience, and for all the questions!

First of all though, thank you for the kind words - my favourite was GODZILLA SIZE CONGRATS :rofl: I’ve never gotten those before!

Great question Cridio - we do some automated checks in review for some of the types of content where it’s straight forward, and of course our review team are devilishly good at spotting things, so that if you see users abusing the system - that’s after we’ve weeded out a lot. That said we can do more, and are on the lookout for ways to get better at what we internally call “Integrity”. It’s a constant battle, which is one of the reasons why Envato has a fraud team, an integrity team, and a legal team.

Ultimately while we persistently push against people redistributing products elsewhere fraudulently, primarily with takedown notices and legal letters, it’s important to balance how much resources we put on it. While you can slow them down a bit, it’s more or less impossible to completely stop illegal file distribution, this is what the music industry learned when they put millions of dollars and some epic legal battles trying to do so, before eventually embracing lower cost models of distribution. It’s pretty tough to see, and I know a lot of our team finds it epicly frustrating to see people blatantly ripping off authors :disappointed: I wish I had a better answer, but it’s a big world, and files are very easy to replicate and store and pass around.

Thanks videologio - great question. Internally we have a model of three horizons. It’s a common system companies use to think about mature products (like Envato Market), growing products (like Envato Elements) and innovation tests (like the WP Plugin, Mixkit, Milkshake). I know these days Facebook hasn’t exactly got the best reputation anymore, but it’s still helpful to see Mark Zuckerberg presenting with the same model to understand it:

As Envato Market is a thirteen and a half year old business now, it’s really matured in its space. Internally this has been clear for a few years now because where it used to be that growth initiatives had high returns, these days it’s smaller return even on large investments we make. So we push hard on the pieces that matter to keep customers coming back (SEO, paid marketing, operations and discovery), but it’s also clear that if we want to grow overall earnings and stay relevant, it’s not necessarily in single purchase marketplaces.

Because we’re in the space of digital assets, it’s good to look at other similar neighbouring spaces with the same characteristics to see how their markets move. Generally speaking, because the cost of file hosting, replication and distribution is very low and getting cheaper, these markets all trend towards global subscriptions. So think iTunes → Spotify type models. Hence a couple years ago we launched Envato Elements to lean into this trend. With three years hindsight I’m very glad we did, because the space of unlimited subscriptions is getting very heated and moving quickly and its very easy to get left behind. I believe Elements is the largest on revenue already, but there’s a couple not far behind, and new ones popping up (for example the other day I heard Pond5 is launching a subscription called Hyperstock).

While Elements is growing, we’re still planting seeds for the even more distant future. We do this because seeds take a long time to grow into trees that bear fruit. And in the world of online business, there’s also a high failure rate. So our third horizon has things like – a WordPress plugin to sell ‘template kits’, a free site called Mixkit that is helping pick up traffic in asia, a website maker for mobile, and of course Placeit which is quickly growing to the size that maybe it’s not really an innovation product any more, but just a fast growing business.

So what does that mean for authors? Well, there’s still a lot of money to be made on Envato Market, but these days it’s a competitive market and one that needs innovation and ingenuity to bust into as a new author. There’s growth in Elements and revenue, and it’s no longer an experimental product, so we are working to open the doors to more authors. And I’d keep an eye on experimental products like our “Template Kits” for WordPress and other opportunities.

Hey PrestoSound, it’s a great question! There are always customers who prefer single purchases, and right now AudioJungle has the greater library and more licensing mechanics for customers (and is much much larger in sales). But we’re also seeing a strong trend towards customers wanting subscriptions, which is why we have Elements (as you no doubt know, there’s a lot of other audio subscriptions out there too).

If I could wave a wand, I would put the two things (subscription and single purchase pricing) in the same product. But there’s a lot more complexity behind the scenes that means we keep it separate. Consequently AudioJungle is not going to disappear at all anytime soon!!

Great suggestions RedOctopus. I’ll pass them on to the Market team who I know are thinking about discovery options to help sort customers into the right buckets (sending higher end ones to the right places).

Currently our biggest push towards high end customers is that we are trialling Enterprise plans on Elements. This is really early, but it’s part of why we bought Twenty20 (who had experience selling to enterprises). Bringing in sales people and penetrating corporations is new for us, so it may take a while, but I think longer-term it holds a lot of promise. We’ve had a lot of interest already in the audio space, and we’re getting to know what kinds of requirements are important - including both quality, but also legal and copyright protections and product features. My hope is that we can then help those high spend customers to both use a subscription, but also to shop them higher priced, in-demand tracks from AudioJungle as well.

Market <> Elements traffic and cross promotion

Quite a few of you raised questions about the cross promotion of traffic between Market and Elements. Definitely I know that the header bar on Market is up there amongst the most annoying things to authors. But at the same time, it’s important for us to be transparent about the different offerings we have for customers so they can choose what’s best for their needs. While it’s pretty annoying, the traffic diverted from Market item pages is minimal (0.18% of visitors actually click through). That said we’re exploring ways to let customers better know about Elements (and Placeit).

As well as measuring the traffic diversion, we’ve run experiments to see if there’s impact to Market if we remove the banner (eg from checkout) and it’s had negligible impact on sales at a daily level. I do think it has impact over time (which is why we are helping Elements’ growth with Market), but I also think that over time we’re trying to build up the authorbase of Elements to take advantage of that. It’s a tricky balance, and while I know many authors are unhappy with it, I do want everyone to know that it’s something we weigh up very carefully.

Interesting, I think that must be a consequence of not allowing any links out of Elements (rather than seeking to block market). I’ll go ask the product team what the driver is.

On Affiliates, we have some pretty competitive offers and have a team working around the clock on Affiliate deals (unlike a couple years ago), but of course Affiliates are their own businesses and we respect their decisions if they choose to do their own thing.

On Generally Investing into Market

A few people asked about investing into Market, here’s an answer hooked into Odin’s question (though it’s a similar theme to a few other questions!)

Definitely not abandoning Market! But the majority of our efforts are in things that while not very visible have high impact - in particular we put a lot of effort into SEO and paid marketing to attract customers, and teams working on uptime, integrity, finance and keeping everything running smoothly to process transactions. The main product work is around tools for authors to merchandise and promote their content better, and continued discovery improvements (the homepages are scheduled next with a refresh!)

The biggest uphill battle we have is that the Market codebase grew without a lot of early planning (back then we didn’t know it was going to be so big) and is a little unwieldy now, so changes are way slower than you’d imagine. That said we have people continually chipping away at bringing Market into the new decade :slight_smile:


I’ll be back in a couple of days to answer more questions!

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It’s been a while since you’ve talk to the community like this so Thank you for that,it’s much appreciated :slight_smile:

Heya @collis, you forgot about my question! :disappointed: Link to Post

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“Annoying” is not the correct word. You gotta understand it’s much, much more than that. It’s infuriating, it’s a betrayal, it’s you flipping us the finger.

If it’s so important for you to let buyers know what all their options are, then why isn’t there a top banner on Elements telling them they can also get the item for a one off fee, in case they don’t want to subscribe?

That 0.18% is pretty far from the figure you previously gave us (around 2%), and is even harder to believe. Do you mean that you are willing to antagonize the vast majority of authors just for 0.18% ctr? Makes little sense. It’s also hard to believe when there are countless threads opened by buyers who felt they were tricked by that infamous banner. Either your people are lying to you, or you didn’t set up the analytics properly, but in any case, something doesn’t add up here.

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Thank you for your honest and a detailed answer. Happy holidays and success in the New Year! :sparkles:

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Thanks for bringing this up.

Thanks for the answer @collis!
Happy holidays!

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Your company’s year over year exponential growth is very impressive. Can you explain why though, you do not want to show elements authors copies of licenses granted (the way you display invoices on market) and data on downloads per month per track? Also you often talk about “inclusion” and “community”. It’s pretty obvious Collis that there is not an inclusive energy from Envato because the elements authors are hand picked. The majority of authors are not included in that guaranteed earnings party. They are essentially the chosen one’s to earn from a cornered market where competition is limited by your team. Bonuses are guaranteed by the communal subscriber revenue you earn. I can only assume that you cautiously allow more music authors “in” to elements based on subscriber growth? Or can you clarify when and why you chose to accept more authors into elements?

When it first launched I actually thought everyone would pile in for fear of missing out, but now it’s based on hand selection. It’s pretty clear to me that your team knows that If you allowed all music authors to participate, you’d end up with 800,000 tracks in elements diluting everyone’s earnings forever.

It now seems like only your staff and managers will decide who will earn more from Envato, and who will earn less. The elements music authors I have communicated with have seen their overall earnings go up by 50 to 100% merely because they were hand selected and invited in, the rest of us have seen our earnings stagnate or decline substantially and that trend will continue. Or, is there a plan to level the playing field and create fair competition?

That’s too bad that audio jungle market revenue dropped several per cent and that you see the trend continuing. Could allowing $5 prices have something to do with that drop in revenue? It would also be nice if all license options can be visible without clicking on a price menu. I do think more people would buy broadcast licenses if they actually saw the license price menu without having to click on it. Anyway, I know these are tough questions to answer, but any communication you can offer would be helpful to many music authors.

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Hello, Collis.

You may remember me sending you a video in which I was trying to explain why I would be a useful team member in your company.
I would be happy if you could watch this short video.

Considering all my experience and skills, I think I can count on your interest. I’ve created this video especially for Envato, please watch it through to the end. Because I think I have some ideas that might be useful.
And to prove it, I would like to show you some of them.

I want to present you my Author Growth Strategy, which contain Customer Segments, three BIG Customer Experience Problems and Solutions.

Let’s get started.

If “Being an Author” is a product that Videohive offers to artists, therefore, artists are Customers. And looking a little ahead, I’ll tell you that most of the presentation is about Customer Experience or Being Author Experience which in my opinion needs changes.

But before that, I’d like to introduce my vision of
the customer segments.

Those artists who combine in themselves also entrepreneurial qualities, those who have free time and a firm intention to have passive income, are likely to be already on Videohive or have already thought about it.

However, there are of course many more freelancers, studio workers, and studio owners who don’t sleep and dream about selling templates. They have reasons not to do that, which we will discuss later.

Also Inside this segment of potential Authors, there is quite promising in my opinion, a group of people, namely 3D artists. Due to the emergence of GPU Rendering, as well as the rise of tutorials, presets, assets, it became possible to create high-quality, sophisticated graphics very quickly, in just one day. All of these so-called everydays can potentially be excellent templates. And they were created in one day, just because it’s fun. And there are literally thousands of such works.

I understand that this is an unusual segment of artists, but with some changes in the VideoHive, they could become a part of Authors Community.

Okay. Why is it hard to be an author on a videohive? Especially for beginners. Three reasons:

The first reason
It takes a lot of new skills.
To make the template more convenient or to unlock the potential of the After Effect, the author must know the expressions, and this is JavaScript at least at the basic level. The author should know graphic design, marketing, SEO at least at the basic level. By the way, it is also worth knowing basic level HTML. And he should know how to do it, even if he does not like programming. This is not how he used to work.

The second reason
Creativity Limitations.
Ideally, the Author should use Ae CS6 or later, without plugins or scripts. So that everyone could open and use his template. If he doesn’t have His own stock videos or illustrations, he has to create templates in very compressed and unusual way. Attaching a bunch of links to additional purchases in the description is a bad idea. And again, the Author couldn’t create graphics in the way he used to.

The third reason
Future is not clear.
What to create for whom? OK, I came up with a template idea, but does anyone need it? Will it generate any sales? These are unfamiliar questions for the artist. He used to work with a client or manager who set clear goals. But to be Successful Sellers, artists have to develop an entrepreneurial, analytical mindset.

A lot of restrictions, a lot of skills need to be mastered and too many questions that require intensive web searching, which also takes time. Of course, there is a text help center, and there is an Envato blog, but this is clearly not enough.

Looking at these problems, it seems to me you can understand artists doubts about becoming an Authors.

So what kind of solutions I see?

Many new skills are required. Yes, it’s true. But we can make the learning process as easy as possible. I suggest creating a Videohive section on community.envato.com, which will contain very well structured information in a blog format.

With the category “Being an Author on Videohive. Getting Started”
There should be a “Marketing” category.
It is also necessary to have the category “Tips and Tricks” with some technical tricks involved in the template creation process.
When I first started making templates, I really needed that information. And I had to either look for it or learn from my mistakes

OK, why do you need all this?

The potential template author should feel that if he reads the whole blog, he will become a successful seller. Even before reading a blog, only by scanning it, an artist should think that here, in one place, there is everything I need, I just need a little time to read it, and I can make money by selling templates, its very easy.
And in the Author’s Dashboard panel there should be a big button, which is connected to this blog, because it will also be useful for existing sellers.

The second reason.
Limitations. Yes, pure After Effects without plugins, video, images it’s of course painful. Most likely it has already been discussed in Envato. I propose to implement on videohive collaboration system, bundles. A similar scheme with some templates is on ThemeForest, when the plugins are sold in conjunction with the WordPress template. And Videohive seems to me needs the same system like no one else. I think this could create a massive explosion of creative opportunities, OK more on that later.

My idea is to allow VideoHive authors to use PhotoDune and Videohive photos and videos in their templates. On a template Upload page, the author specifies what materials from Envato Markets he used and the price for each product is summed up in the final cost of the template. In the case of Elements, the same thing happens only to the Point System. And Elements will of course be even more attractive to customers who pay once for a subscription.

PhotoDune and Videohive contain a huge potential for creativity. A large number of vector images that can be extruded, animated, clouds footages from which you can make this kind of templates, animated plants, perfect background textures. If you implement this way of creating templates, you’re gonna have an avalanche of new templates, simply because it is an easy and fun way to create new templates. But I just started.

Plugins and scripts a significant part. At aescripts.com as well as at Videohive there are a lot of high-quality plugins. For example, this plugin
yy_uvmapper_lg
allows me to create templates in which customers content could be directly on the 3d model, tied to a liquid, flag, complex model. And I would personally like to create such high-quality new templates on the basis of this plugin. Plugins creates opportunities for designing better-quality templates that were previously impossible with bare After Effect.

This is beneficial for all members. Some icons could be are unattractive by themselves, but in the artist’s template, they could be animated, transformed and can start selling along with the template. The plugin, which is badly sold on Aescripts, suddenly begins to sell well on Videohive in combination with templates made on its basis. This, in turn, will attract the plugin creators to sell on VideoHive. It can also inspire artists to create things that can be useful for After Effect templates.

For example, creators of so-called Everydays can simply upload all their projects as a video background or photo, and that’s it. Just upload files without any work. And thanks to the collaboration system, the After Effect artists will create templates based on these works. After Effects artists will make all the description, logo and text placeholder and upload usable, finished product. For 3D artists, selling on VideoHive will be super simple and straightforward. And after-effects artists will be able to create new templates quickly and easily.

This type of sales of linked together products will allow Envato to look like a big studio in which each artist only does what he likes, someone shoots video, someone draws, someone collects it all together into a single, finished product like After Effects template. This is an understandable concept of work for freelancers and studio workers. You don’t have to do all the work, just what you like and what you do best. And now being an Author on Videohive seems like a good idea.

And a very important third point.

Future is not clear. What kind of templates will succeed? This is a tough question requiring market analysis. My idea is to make life easier for the authors and to make the process of creating templates look like a normal studio job. I propose to shift market analysis from the Authors shoulders to the Envato.

As one option, I’m suggesting a weekly column on the “Videohive Authors” blog. Where Envato’s market specialist will show and explain weekly charts of popularity of search queries, about opportunities, oversupply or demand. He will have to analyze the charts, metrics data, customer behavior on the site and give his expert opinion.

Yes, such market analysis can help not only the authors of Videohive, but also the competitors. But that’s even better, because I think that the future is in the templates. And if you improve the quality of After effect Templates around the world, then people will have a better attitude to buying templates, in general. There will be more useful templates on the internet, and instead of hiring studios, people will tend to buy templates more often. Which is good.

I understand my proposal may be contrary to free-market principles. But not all authors act according to the laws of the market, they just create beautiful things and hope that somebody will use their templates somehow.

Especially considering the collaboration and the possible flow of new templates, I think it’s very important to take control of this flow and fill the Videohive with the right templates.

In a Conclusion.

Selling templates can be a great alternative to working in the studio and freelancing. To do this, you just need to solve some of the authors’ problems.

1. It should be clear how to become the Author, how to create templates and successfully sell them
2. Creating templates should not be more complicated than working in a studio, ideally it should be more profitable and easier.
3. Everything that the Author creates should bring him money, no one likes to work for nothing and waste time.

I understand that some of these ideas in this presentation require a more detailed, structured explanation. With the draft designs, demonstrations, surveys, there are a lot of work to be done, and I’m ready to get started.

However, at this stage, of course, all this needs to be discussed. It would be great to receive any feedback from you about this presentation and if it’s possible to discuss it in person at Envato’s office in Melbourne.

I look forward to your comments and thank you for reading this post to the end.

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Sorry, but It is a market and market rules are applied to every Author, you should create high-quality items in demand to compete here. If Author creates useless items - why should he earn money?

And as for CG examples you’d provided - it is very specific niche for custom orders, maintaining may cost higher than revenue.

@collis forgot or may be not interested in mine too :wink:

Your suggestion is great, i too posted kind of the same in some other topic regarding sales.

The “Added in the last year” filter not just effects new users, we too have many niche themes, sold around 100+ & 250 to 400, but not added in the last year. They have strong 5 star reviews by our efforts towards support.

The point is they can not be seen and many items are currently buried it seems. Because of this our sales have been drooped heavily too.

So, not only increasing age filter, envato team have to help us with solutions to balance both best sellers, new items, the intermediate 1+ years items got good reviews and quality which have decent sales, but no best sellers.

Since the " WP Requirements Badge" issue, we are busy with updates (Because we have 100+ items)
and we are taking it seriously, and hope once we got the badge the sales may boom.

But we have some other profiles too, where we have seen no changes even after the badge.

We are in very confused state right now!

You can fight the enemy, where we are right now seems full of mirrors, and feels like we are trapped.

Hope Envato Team may consider all authors and find a solution to this!

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market rules are applied to every Author, you should create high-quality items in demand to compete here. If Author creates useless items - why should he earn money?

Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m trying to say. You are absolutely right.
That’s why Envato should create something like “Envato Author Academy”
Like YouTube did:


To teach Author how to create “high-quality items in demand to compete here”
Which by the way Envato already doing in their blog, but its not so obvious as it should be.

And as for CG examples you’d provided - it is very specific niche for custom orders, maintaining may cost higher than revenue.

Maybe you missed it. CG examples i provided literally called “Everydays”


Which means that it took only one day to create these works, which in turn means that the cost of creating these works is very low.

And also on Videohive there are a lot of simple templates (yet bestsellers) based on pre-renderes video background, created in 3d programs. Like this:
https://videohive.net/item/colorful-particles-logo-reveal-ii/2561926

I know what everydays is, you were writing about:

And it looks like there should be specific category for this kind of works or what? Now you can upload these into Motion Graphics category. But creating separate category for this to be a Template with review and so on - it is additional maintenance for Envato which won’t pay back.
Those renders which might be useful are lacking native customization because of 3d software, render times and so on - there is just very low demand on this.
But it can be imported into After Effects so it will be AE Template :wink: I do 3D renders and use them in my AE Templates so as lots of Authors do.

Thank you for this wonderful work, happy to be with you :slightly_smiling_face:

What about creating a new section and promote ultra expensive items to satisfy the needs of those companies that are willing to pay big bucks for exclusive items that not everyone would be able to afford?
There must be a reason if people buy Ferrari wearing Versace underwear right?
Where do they go if they want the Ferrari of digital assets, or simply, pay a lot of money for something just to be different?
Definitely not here!
I understand that it’s easier to get 1 dollar from 1 million people than 1 million from 1 person but…I’m sure we have many customers here who would spend 4 or 5 figures for exclusive content come on!
The day Samsung bought from me a 4K background and I got 20$ was memorable! :joy:
Imagine Apple buying the same background and both of them using it at the same time to promote their new screens, how embarassing would be? :joy:
With subscriptions models I guess something similar is happening on daily basis out there!

“Create the problem and sell the solution” they said…

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Thanks for the answer! Looking forward to seeing the homepage refresh!

If the traffic diverted is so minimal, then why do it at all? it seems that it’s bringing more headaches than benefits. The forums are filled with people angry because the “Unlimited” elements banner is not clear enough. Check out the amount of angry/annoyed people that are complaining about this (that leads to frustrated customers that after the bad experience, just leave without purchasing anything):





















For last, we wanted to ask about the search algorithm, a while back Power Elite Author @anps created this topic:


but it was never addressed by anyone of the Envato team. There are also lots of other topics that complain about how is it possible that someone with (for example) 10 sales and 3 5 star ratings is given a better positioning than an item with 1000 sales and 500 5 star ratings and 1 4 star rating. It seems that the search algorithm need to be reworked.

Right now we have an item that, when we search for a keyword (that the title includes) the results show first items that have lower sales and or ratings than ours. It seems kinda unfair.

Thanks!

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Plenty of negative energy here.I wonder why …

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Hey @collis! Really, thanks for taking the time to go through the flood of authors concerns. As you see, and sure already knew, most of us are quite worried about roughly the same issues: those of us who were left out of Elements are going through a massive and increasing cut in our incomes (below %50 in lots of cases), compromising our and our faimilie’s well-being. What’s even more dishartening is to see the marketing efforts Envato is putting into driving customers away from what’s still left of the Markets towards the subscription model. Sorry but that feels like you’re giving us the finger, specially if it’s true that the banner-related traffic means only a meagre 0,18%. Humbly, I think Envato might do well reconsidering it; it would help healing the community-company bond a lot. Of course, if that % is WAY bigger it just won’t happen.

I understand, hard as it is for our business as composers, that is the markets that are trending towards subscription services; that’s clear as daylight and it would be naive to expect Envato to row upstream. It’s also clear that, in order to function, the number of recruited authors needs to be kept small or their monthly earnings would dilute into literally dimes so it’s highly unlikely that we see a significant grow in the Element’s contributors list anytime soon.

All this said, there are 2 very specific questions/suggestins I’d like to set out, if I may:

First: Can we expect to see a raise of the current minimum price set on the markets? We’ve been told that doing so would be “against the law” but that doesn’t make sense at all as $5 is a minimum itself (otherwise we should be allowed to price them $0,0001) and most of the competition markets out there do set minimums without having Interpol on their backs. Honestly, the “race to the bottom” is in full effect and it would enormously help us market authors to create more fair and healthy conditions. I’m convinced this would be a win/win/win (yeah, 3 times) measure for authors, Markets and Elements. Slightly higher prices would lead to more direct income both for creators and Envato, and would make Elements even more price-appealing.

Second: If the % of traffic is so little, wouldn’t be a good idea to permanently remove the banners (or at least considering it) from our profiles and the Market’s landing pages. It would mean the world for lots of us and it would help mending the company-community bond that’s not in its best days, IMHO. %0,18 sounds like a rather small number, specially when non-invited authors cannot even decide whether to take part in the new model or not.

Thanks in advance. Have a nice week everybody!

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