2023 Envato Public Impact Statement

Each year, we publish a Public Impact Statement that provides a high-level summary of what Envato has been up to over the last year: tracking our impact, reflecting on the year that was, and looking forward to the year(s) ahead.

Our 2023 report reflects a year that was both challenging and galvanising, for all of us.

As artificial intelligence and digital technology evolved at breakneck speeds, the way that we interact with the digital world shifted and changed. As a company we’ve had to look at how we can embrace the new possibilities these changes bring, while remaining true to our purpose of helping creatives everywhere to thrive.

This Impact Statement reflects these efforts.

During 2023 we reached new milestones in subscriber numbers, and paid a total of $111M to our Author community - reaching a lifetime total of $1.3B in Author earnings. We’ve leveraged AI to elevate the on-site experience for subscribers, starting on some big search and discovery projects to help customers find the right content for their needs. It was a year that kicked off a lot of changes at Envato, many of which you will see more about in the coming months.

Please make a pot of tea (or grab a coffee!), and have a read through the full report here:

If you have questions about anything from the report, please ask them in this thread - I’ll do my best to get answers for you.

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So… more customers but less money for the author community overall. What’s the mechanism behind this paradox?

I mean when compared to the $136millions from a few years ago, those $111million don’t seem to go in the right direction. What is Envato planning to do to address this issue?

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Hi @PurpleFog. It’s a fair question!

Compared to 2019, when that $136M figure is from, a far higher proportion of total Author earnings came from ThemeForest - mostly concentrated among the authors selling multipurpose WordPress themes. The performance of the Code and Web marketplaces are relatively separate from the subscriber growth in Elements, as (with a few exceptions, like Elementor template kits) those items often don’t perform well in a subscription model.

Creative stock earnings (photos, video, audio, graphics) are now more likely to originate from Elements than Market, and most of our product marketing this year is focused on increasing subscribers there. To your question on how to improve the balance between subscriber and income growth, there are a few factors involved. Customer lifetime value can be affected by pricing (region-based, annual vs monthly subscribers, etc), but is also affected by retention rates: there’s a cost involved in acquiring customers, and improving the product means those people stick around longer, and contribute more to the pool of Author earnings.

A big part of this is increasing the number of higher-value subscriptions - particularly Enterprise subscribers. Those customers are comparatively far more valuable than individual subscribers, but have historically been a very small percentage of the total. We now have a dedicated team working on bringing in more of those customers, which will have an impact on the overall ratios.

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Several of the photographers, myself included, have noticed a sharp decline in earnings in the past several weeks on Elements. I’ve been maintaining a consistent daily average since 2020. For there to be a 40% decline is troubling. Has there been a decrease in subscribers? Or did changing the earnings for the Enterprise plans make the difference?

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Hi @MargJohnsonVA. Neither of those, as far as I’m aware - the Enterprise changes happened last October, so wouldn’t have suddenly kicked in over the past weeks. Subscriber numbers are steady, too.

I’ll see if I can find more information for you that’s specific to changes in photo licensing activity, as that’s the most likely factor.

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I appreciate it. It just seems odd to have happened to so many of us at the same time.

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What are Envato’s long-term plans for the markets, other than to use them to drive clients towards Elements ? It feels like the markets are only going to be around until Envato builds up Elements enough.

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It would be great and fair to have a prominent banner on Elements advertising the main market.

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Advertising for the markets on Elements.That’s a great idea ! What do you think, Envato ?

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@BenLeong

My points are relatively simple -

Example: On the slides slide number 10 is missing :wink:

I think the figures are dazzling, but there are many authors, many forum topics, where authors concerns are not always addressed by employees of the company. To me this is quite sad, because Envato like any other great company is built on authors and developers offering their items for sale on any given platform.

It doesn’t always matter how much a company may produce in glowing figures. Or how many people watch them online. Or follow them on Tiktok, Facebook, Instagram or any other social media outlet. And whilst admirable, supporting green technlogies - it should be about are the majority of the authors who make Envato successful, happy and at least doing well in earnings.

Now what about slide 10??? :slight_smile: LOL

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So what you’re saying is that marketplaces were performing better than Elements currently is, isn’t it? That makes it hard to understand why Envato’s gone out of its way to cannibalize marketplace sales to convert them to subscriptions.

Or is it that Elements is performing worse for authors, but better for Envato? What’s the rational behind this?

I can understand that TF was a powerhouse compared to the other marketplaces and that the fact that it doesn’t translate as well in a subscription context, can explain the drop in overall earnings. But do you have the figures on the marketplace level. How does overall earnings for AJ authors from 2019 compare to now? From what you’re saying they shouldn’t have gone down, have they?

You’re talking about the cost of acquiring subscribers impacting the overall ratio. Do you mean that this cost is first recouped by Envato before calculating the pool of author earnings?

In any case, I see there is no plan whatsoever for the vast majority of us AJ authors who are excluded from all this. We make up a big chunk of this community, and yet we’re completely ignored, and treated like pariahs. Is it something that is going to be addressed…, or “nah, we couldn’t care less”?

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Checking to see if you found out anything about so many photographers noticing a marked decrease in Elements earnings all at the same time. Was any new earning calculations put in place towards the end of December?

The Public Impact Statement seems to be coming from an alternate universe.

How can you justify that donations for charities and company revenue of Envato continues to increase exponentially year after year, while authors see a sharp decline in revenue year after year? Is charity still 2% of profits?

Envato Foundation Funding:
2023: 1.7M
2022: 1.4M
2021: 544K
2020: 290K
2019: 220K

Is this money coming from the cancelation of the Contributor Bonus?
But no worries soon we as authors will qualify for the charity category.

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At least Envato is admitting now that Elements is their major focus and not the Marketplaces. So progress??

Unfortunate that the Marketplace will eventually be phased out (sooner than later I imagine). I feel there’s so many of use who make quality content who weren’t even considered to be invited to the Elements endeavor. (I get it, not everyone can be included out of the gate)

The pure focus on “subscribers” is ridiculous to brag about however, when a lot of us are genuinely trying to figure out how to make the Marketplace relevant again and not fight for a glimmer of light on the table.

It’s very difficult as a musician to want to keep submitting content here or even be inspired to, when the results are little to no promotion/recognition and extremely little sales. Honestly one of the main reasons I haven’t had much come out here in the past year or so and more so trying to figure out how to get customers and clients back. Do I drop prices like crazy? Do I spend a fortune on advertising somewhere? What is realistic to try to turn this ship around and find something that works for both places? Or better yet, what reason does Envato have for artists like myself, to put all the time, effort and money into making content for this platform?

Not trying to sound a specific way or anything, just saying some thoughts aloud. I really do hope the best for everyone, regardless of them being on Elements or the Marketplace. :slight_smile:

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Around 30% decline in Elements earnings for me too and total downfall of Market earnings.

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Hi all. Sorry for the delay - I’ve been out of action for a few days. I’ll try to respond in more detail when I have more data (and functioning brainpower! :brain: ) to work with, but I wanted to quickly jump in to correct some of the numbers above.

@styleWish Since FY20, Envato has donated a minimum of 2% of our profits to charity each year - however, these donations do not all go to the Envato Foundation. Some of the amounts that you have quoted above are specific to the Foundation, and the totals in the 2022 and 2023 Public Impact reports are both showing cumulative (all time) totals, rather than annual amounts. There is no exponential increase here, and these are not linked to any bonuses.

I may break some topics (future directions etc) out into separate threads, to keep this one focused on Q&A for last year’s Public Impact report.

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Thanks for the clarification! I appreciate your communication. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I think your leadership needs to make a programmatic appeal to the authors before it’s too late. Restoring payments to all regions, the value of authors is task number one, harmonization of the Market and Elements systems (without internal tension as now) and of course an apology to everyone for the numerous decision errors lately.

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Totally agree

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