Audio is Coming to Elements



300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube per minute (!?!)


There are already some super important points about how this subscription model should be structured to be more beneficial to both Envato and authors long term income.

From Envato´s perspective I assume the simplicy of the subscription service is one key priority, so the less confusing options the better. Still there needs to be more tiers options for Companies than a private youtuber, to collect different company budgets.

How to define a company might be hard, but if its more than 1 employee AND/OR the budget is over «xxx» the customer should be treated as a company identity I think.

@jamesgiroux What about involving people with deeper music industry knowledge in development of subscription tiers? like for example @RedOctopus @promosapien @SteelSound @Sam-Stone @PurpleFogSound @wavetoys to name a few.

It´s great that everybody can write their opinion here on this thread, and I hope that continues in the same constructive way, but it must be hard to know for the Envato team to see what to focus on from this jungle of posts, and it´s maybe a bit easier for those with deeper music industry experience to collect the essential information?


BTW I think I’ve missed one important thing. What about downloads and physical products in Elements? Allowed or not?


Words of warning to any music producer invited to participate in “elements”:

  1. You instantly lower your price to $16.50 because think about it, if a customer sees your track advertised at $20 on the AJ market, they can always click over to elements find it there and pay the $16.50 month sub fee and get your track.

  2. If you do decide to devalue yourself, I’d demand that envato issue you a copy of every “add license” that happens for your tracks so you know who is using it and how they are using it.

  3. If something is not broken right now, maybe you should consider not fixing it. So if your one off sync fee sales are still consistent and healthy, why bother fixing what is not broken?

  4. Lowering your prices will most certainly result in less revenue, whereas raising your prices will probably result in more revenue for you (many have verified this).

I am not convinced everyone in the world wants a subscription. I typically resist them because I do not like when companies have my credit card on file and suck money from it each month. And yes Envato better figure out a way to get big companies to pay their fair share for music licenses. When the rates plummet to satisfy “Cooking with Sally” and her youtube channel needs, and then the same rates are being applied to a company like Unilever or Proctor and Gamble (or even ENVATO), this industry has failed. Envato needs to start talking to the video folks to learn about their music buying behavior and what they think is fair for their needs as well as the music producers.

Promosapien has given great insight to how a free-lance video editor or small video production business utilizes music. Keep asking more questions to the music buyers who happen to be right next door at the videohive, they should be able to give a lot of input as to what music should cost. They are the people interfacing with their larger client as video production/ video editor vendor.

Subscription models suck! This is the absolute worst thing that could happen to this business.


Actually you don’t lower the price of your track to $16.50. You lower it to a much, much smaller fraction of that amount determined by an item points system to which you don’t have any real access. Plus, it’s not only the price of a single track that is devalued, but of all the tracks you decide to include in Elements.

Basically you’d be accepting that a handful of tracks that were giving you some nice steady revenue for at least $20 each, will now leave you literally a few cents.

W e i r d.


My point is that the customer automatically has a cheaper option for the same tune. Those elite authors invited to participate are huddling up together discussing this nightmare in a private thread. I really hope they are strongly considering all of the nuances and negatives associated with this business model. Not only are they willingly devaluing their music assets, they also are lowering their revenue share to 50%. I think many are at 70% are they not?

Great companies with great products never dump prices. Look at Apple.
Great restaurants with lots of customers do not lower their prices.
Cool cars like BMW and Mercedes never lower their prices.


Just Elite authors will not go there. Because they love big earnings. 100% (but as a result, additional earnings can be in contrast). As a bonus to basic earnings. I think the lion’s piece is valuable here, but an extra piece is also “meat”. (I’m not sure, but I’m thinking they will go). Who of them will still agree, in any case. The question is different :slight_smile: Whether they are happy with the second piece of “meat”? I think this: as they say (they) elite authors, they will say, that’s exactly how it will be. It all depends on them. (the elite has common sense, I’m sure).


I think that is something most authors would agree on, elite or otherwise, right @CleanMagicAudio? I’m not elite, but I don’t mind telling you that I also love big earnings. :grin:


The first to invite the Elite. I think so.


Wow! James, I’d like to extend a hearty thanks to you and others at Envato that came around to this decision. I think this distinction is so critical to the health of both marketplaces.


This is great stuff, promo. Thank you for taking the time to chime in on such an important topic. The subscription model is definitely the way things are trending, and fast. You’re seeing it with more and more music production software as well. Its across the board with ALL digital content.

Being that subscription is coming whether we like it or not, one thing that Envato has control over is price point. I’d be interested in knowing how Envato came to the $16.50 number. This seems very low for what they are offering.


Probably because the largest competitor has the same price. But ONLY for audio. And ONLY annual one-time payment is the option.


This is a great point that I don’t think can be overemphasized. Envato has difficult decisions to make because this “client” base is unfathomably huge, but catering to it may/will have serious consequences.


BP Productions. I definitely agree that software companies want people to “subscribe” to get access and updates to their software in exchange for a fixed annual fee. But here is the kicker - these software companies own all that intellectual property. It’s their product.

What Envato is doing here everyone and please listen to this important point, they are saying " we want customers to subscribe to gain access to all of your content that we DO NOT own, we will collect ALL THE MONEY FIRST, and then distribute it in a manner we decide which of course will be in our best interests first and foremost." Bascially, they are saying we now will collectively devalue all your content, take 50% ownership of it, decide when and how to pay you, and decide which information about these “licenses” we’re “selling” will be disclosed to you. And as it sits right now, nothing is getting disclosed to anyone when a customer clicks “add license”.

Any lawyer reading this deal would basically say “You are getting screwed”.

Once again, it’s always the music producer who enables these shady deals but enthusiastically jumps on board and “hopes for the best”.

Ben you have sold almost 15,000 sync fees in the last 5 years. Are you ready to see the one off sync fee disappear forever and also take a cut in your commission rate?

I have never witnessed so much enthusiasm and excitement for a pay cut in my life.

It’s clear as day what’s going to happen just from PROMOSAPIENS example. He spends 4K a year on stock anything (but that’s mostly music). He now will just have to spend $200 a year to get his stock stuff. That’s $3800 less revenue coming in from his business. Am I missing something?


You put an option in the plan (LArge Companies or Large enterprises) are obliged to pay a much larger subscription fee.

For elements they need to say “Let’s find a plan that is suitable for you”

  1. Private individual

  2. Small Business

  3. Medium Size Business

  4. Large Business

  5. Publicly traded corporation (Fortune 500 Company)

Different prices for each entiity or person or business that is subscribing. Or maybe they should offer to buy out the tracks so they take full ownership and have skin in the game.


Hi @bdProductions. Thanks for the kind words. I agree that this is an important topic. I have a small AJ portfolio and sell stock music here and video clips elsewhere, so from that perspective I have something at stake, too.

Envato has been my go-to supplier for music, WordPress themes, etc. for a long time. In fact, I’m sure I’ve purchased a few of your tracks over the years.

Envato’s success benefits everyone who sells through this marketplace, but I’m hoping that the subscription method of selling music doesn’t threaten the livelihood of those who create great tracks (like you) and depend on sales to pay their bills.

In my opinion, selling audio via subscription has the potential to negatively affect content creators’ ability to earn fair compensation for their work if it isn’t executed properly.


+1. Well-stated.


I said this earlier to @MojoSoundtrackMusic. I’m one voice giving input from the customer side. I would sure like to hear from other video pros, large and small, on this subject.


I have all my eggs in the Envato basket. My livelihood is at stake here. I don’t take these decisions lightly nor am I excited at the prospect of my livelihood becoming endangered by this shifting tide. I have done well here and have no desire to see it change. But change it will, as all things do. And like I said in an earlier post, I believe Envato is making calculated decisions based on data that we are not privileged to and their actions, in my time here, have shown a lot of concern for us authors, even when it didn’t have to. I don’t believe that they’ll leave us out to dry.

I am in no way excited at the prospect of offering up music I’ve worked very hard on for mere cents per use. Not at all. The idea of this scares the crap out of me and is contrary to my belief as a professional musician. But one thing I keep coming back to is the potential pool of customers Envato could reach via Youtube and Facebook. I refer thousands of unique clicks of Youtubers a month to Envato by myself, hundreds of whom join, dozens of whom pay for something. How many could Envato lure with its resources? Who knows… maybe not enough to bridge that huge gap in price. it could be a disaster. But I don’t believe that they would risk the success of the current model for one that is worse. I just don’t understand why they’d do this. Their butt is on the line too.

I don’t think its wise to throw the baby out with the bath water as the subscription model could prove successful if done right. This super cheap price point concerns me, as did the broadcast issue. But that’s why we’re here talking and behold- they’re listening!

I am the 45th ranked audio author and I was not invited to participate in Elements. Didn’t even know it was rolled out until a few days ago. Would I join? I don’t like the idea of it on principle, but I am intrigued by its potential based on my own success on Youtube. I don’t have enough information from Envato to make that call at the moment. It’s a scary spot, for sure.


Thank you, @bdProductions. I appreciate hearing your take on this.