It is a good question. I know this might sound like science fiction but there are other marketplaces and music libraries out there that have a little respect for their authors and keep that in mind when developing plans for the future. I believe the best strategy is by far spreading your effort on different sites and creating multiple income sources.
Also more then ever before in stock music, consider focusing on niches and at least try to nail something 110%, preferably something that not everybody else is doing. You don’t need to be very unique but you need to be different to stand out. To be different can be everything from item quality itself to visuals to pricing etc. There are LOTS of clients with medium and higher budget that will not hesitate a second to buy a track that is perfect for their project. These won’t die anytime soon, but of course they need an option to insert real money. That’s whats currently is missing in Elements more then anything. Elements is also filled up with more then enough music authors, thats why we are seeing very little increase of items in Elements Music compared to other marketplaces.
As for subscription models, yes they are here to stay, but it does not mean that every sub model will exploit their authors to the fullest. This is obviously what’s happening at Envato, not just with the misleading banner ad and the misleading Elements pitch of a “different kind of customers” (or more accurately migrating market customers to Elements like the CEO of Envato actually clearly have informed everybody about.)
But maybe more importantly what invisible things happen behind the scenes? Things like dysfunctional affiliate systems, how much marketing power is used outside to drive traffic to the market versus Elements for example?
Where do all the buyers fees and commission go? I don’t know. But it does not seem to go into impressive projects that improves the marketplace experience for customers and authors, thats for sure. Removal of credit system and implementing forced transaction fees, flooding the market with non verified copycats and cheaters, dumb as a rock search engine where your best bet is to call your track Upbeat corporate is Upbeat corporate is Upbeat corporate. Ignorance of our broadcast license presentation requests, search engine issues etc etc
What’s next? Do we have to pay to sell on this site? We are in fact all paying for the relentless aggressive advertising to a competing market here, so I guess it already happened
What to do? We have to acknowledge that we are only authors talking to authors on this forum. Nothing more. I see on competition sites (also big ones) that audio directors, video directors etc are participating on the forum, even in difficult topics. This is not the case in Envato at all. Probably because they are not allowed by the CEO to participate in the sensitive topics and also simply because their arguments in many cases are just very weak. Nowadays we are only served empty cut and paste lip service at best.
I also read on the last Glassdoor Review from a previous Envato employee that the attrition rate is 23%, meaning 23% of Envato employees quitted the last year. The review was from a developer so I am not sure if this is just for the developers or for whole Envato. Either way it shows that not only authors but also employees feel very under appreciated at Envato.
One Videohive author told me last year “Don’t bother speaking about issues to Envato, they hear but they don’t listen” A Themeforest author said: “If you want to know what’s going to happen in the future with Envato, just look what they have done in the past years”. I think these two experienced authors sums it up very well. Sadly.
So everyone who is solely relying on this place. Think again. Luckily there are many opportunities for music producers at the moment and I think we will see more opportunities the next year or 2 as well. Hopefully sites with ambitions and understanding of music licensing.