Author Driven Pricing on AudioJungle

Artists yes. Musicians no. You have to count the market into the equation. IMHO: Artists have a unique voice, they have something you can’t learn and people WILL pay pretty much anything to get their (I hate to use this word) product. Hans Zimmer, Pablo Picasso, etc. you get the idea. Musicians on the other hand who don’t have a unique voice will always have to follow some kind of trend to move along. And if the trend is at 19$ like in this example here, then customers will get it at 19$. If they’d get it at 39$, but there would be a similar copycat track which sounds like Zimmer and fits their needs for 5$, which one would they take? With the appearance of sample libraries came an oversaturation of the market. And if you think 19$ could be the lowest point on AJ, then you probably missed a couple of posts here where people asked to give away one of their tracks for free, permanently.

Frankly, I think non-fixed pricing could hurt the unique AJ experience. Now it is the most streamlined, effective, “2-minutes decision” purchase. Adding bargaining aspect to this could negatively increase the time needed to lock on something, introduce second thoughts about pricing, decrease focus on the music itself etc.

I see current AJ pricing as the “licensing fee per minute” in a certain eco-system, which is community based. I am fine with that, even though I am the most individualistic, non-framework person in everyday life. I just like the impact it has on the purchase experience, making it almost bureaucratic procedure.

It still says the part I quoted though. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with most of what you’re saying, I’m just not too sure on the part where you say that everybody should have the right to set their prices at whatever they want… as long as they don’t set them at a rate lower than a figure that you’ve decided on.

OK I edited again to eliminate confusion. I am glad we agree SpaceStockFootage!..I was also writing as a reaction to the speech by T Bone. While he did not site specific examples, I was under the impression that he was also speaking to the .99 cent and 1.29 cent prices on I-tunes, or really $0 prices on Spotify. Why can’t a music artist price their tracks at $3.63 a track on Itunes? Who gave Apple the right to set prices? Why? Did the Artists ever get asked what the price should be? Did Artists really want streaming services to just offer their music for $0? I never thought about this until I read that article. I agree with him.

Let me say it again, I vote for higher prices and author driven pricing in general as long as no one is allowed to go below $19. It really will make the market look more colorful and introduce better communication with the buyer because price communicates quality. Look at Shoes, you can pay $30 for them or $100 or $300, or even more. When you shop for them the price communicates something to the consumer, Price creates a more interesting shopping experience. Egalitarian pricing sets up a boring anti competitive marketplace.

I think we need to come up with something another !!! than Author Driven Pricing !

I don’t think you want to add pricing wars. Just raise the standard licensing fee and get this over with.

If you make it variable and leave the $19 as a minimum, almost no one is going to move their prices up. Authors won the PRO registration battle and promoted the benefits to everyone, and yet so many authors refuse to register their music out of fear of losing sales. The general attitude here seems to be one that keeps everyone’s music undervalued. The goal in micro-stock is volume sales at low prices, but you won’t lose sales when your price is way under the standard found across the internet and no one with any sort of quality is selling for less.

Perhaps a lot of people offering music here have not looked at the outside market for a while, if ever. There are two major micro-stock music competitors of AJ that have standard royalty free licensing fees of $49 and $50 and they’ve been selling successfully for many years. AJ is stuck at $19. You’re THIRTY DOLLARS below your competitors and there is a lot of room to grow and still be cheaper. You aren’t going to lose sales. There are several “self-pricing” micro-stocks offering music and I doubt they are doing anywhere near as well as the two I’m referencing above (which I can’t name in this forum). That’s only looking at micro-stocks that offer music and other media assets. If we look at quality dedicated production music libraries that are royalty free, the rates are usually around $50 or higher. Once we move out of royalty free, rates can get very complicated and a lot higher.

Yes, this is “low budget”, but the clients aren’t operating below the poverty level. They have money, but they aren’t stupid. If you’re charging next to nothing, they aren’t going to tell you they’re willing to pay more. AJ is extremely low priced to the point where it’s now lagging way behind the market, which has been stepping up quality by pre-screening composers and moving to higher higher rates, not lower. The mass cattle calls for composers are rapidly drying up and the industry is actually starting to do something about the over saturation problem. I’m not so sure AJ isn’t the lowest price for quality these days. The only licensing services I can find with lower rates have very inconsistent quality with a lot of garbage, and some are also on poorly designed sites.

Take note: The micro-stock that is offering $49 licenses bought a dedicated royalty free music library. Before the merger, that library was selling standard licenses for $39.95. They are still in existence as a standalone library with a separate site from the micro-stock and their prices moved from that $39.95 to $49 pretty much over night to match prices on the micro-stock site. That’s about a $9 increase and no one blinked. If you move the price here to $24 or $25, no one is going to blink here either because you’re still half the price of the competitors with little to no compromise in quality.


Ver good post Ovation.

I agree, raising the prices on AJ is the way to go. Envato stated that they want to enable Author driven pricing across all marketplaces when the time is right. I was concerned from the beginning that this will lead either to an another race to the bottom or a settlement of the prices if Envato chooses to implement a lower price limit.

I think Envato could at least try to raise the prices before starting ADP.

I agree that it could work with a minimum price limit. What about non-standard licenses? Should their price go along with the standard license price proportionally?

Most likely not true at all. If you check the competition (with author pricing) you’ll see that the average price lands way above the minimum price and the best-sellers are almost all priced higher, often two to three times higher. I’m also fairly positive that the variable pricing site you’re talking about is a bigger competitor (or as big) than the other two you mentioned. Those two have very good music that is strictly curated but their libraries are very small, about what AJ grows by each month.

I do agree that the minimum price should be raised too of course, but I see no harm in implementing the choice to go higher. I know I would because I know that revenue will increase, even if many people stick with the minimum.

A higher price is a great way to be more visible in the search engine, because many clients will simply sort out the cheap stuff in the search for a quicker match of a high quality track.

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Maybe give authors the power to change prices could make a difference on less known / successful authors as a way to get some exposure. I will love to have that possibility and the fact it will be “optional” per item and per author it could be a win-win situation.

Exactly. As far as I’m concerned it’s a win-win with the minimum price being the current pricing, or higher.

Many buyers (maybe most) value time over money spent here, and higher pricing is, and will continue to be, perceived as higher quality. Experienced authors will also be more likely to raise prices = the quality of a higher priced item may not only be perceived as higher.

I normally don’t buy the cheapest of anything, whether it be food, clothing, beer, instruments, because 1) I can afford it and 2) I feel and believe that a higher price means higher quality and that makes me more satisfied with my purchase.


As far as I know from observing the discussions around author driven pricing on other marketplaces/categories (wordpress), Envato didn’t implement a minimum price even though a lot of authors asked for it, right?

So why should there be hope for a minimum price at Audiojungle?

The only indirect price barrier I see in the current system is that the Envato fees are fixed for categories that set their own prices. That means that you simply can’t go too low with your price because you’d at some point actually start losing money.

BTW: I don’t really think it’s a question IF author driven pricing will come to Audiojungle. The only question is WHEN. Envato has shown and announced again and again over the last years that they want the authors to be in the ‘driver’s seat’. While that might sound good at first, it seems to me that Envato’s motivation behind this strategy is simply to push more and more risk over to the authors when it comes to questions of liability (item support, taxes etc.) as a seller / vendor.

I suspect that’s because their minimum price is only $15, correct? That’s $4 below the standard here, so it’s not unusual that the average price (not the median price) on that site is above that $15. But it’s only $18.20, which is still less than here, and that site currently has 453,057 tracks compared to AJ’s 249,937 tracks. Even with self-pricing, composers have resisted going but so much above a ridiculously low minimum and still didn’t even reach the $19 here. The average top selling there is only $23.00, which is only $4 higher than here, but $2 below what I’m suggesting be the minimum. That being said, very few top sellers there are going for two to three times the minimum since even just two times the minimum is $7 more than the average top seller. And in fact, when you sort all of their 453,067 tracks by popularity, it appears that the current number 1 song there sells for $20 - a mere $1 more than everything here. Yes, some people there sell for ridiculously high rates, but they aren’t selling.

While it would be nice if quality would always beat price, one can never remove the price competition factor when it is staring you in the face on the same site you’re searching. With the compete lack of originality that seems to often be encouraged here and on other micro-stocks, so many songs sound almost exactly the same. Why would I pay $29.95 for a song that sounds the same as one that’s $19? Theoretically, with any music library that has good curators, there should not be any variation in quality as it should all be high quality. I think that’s what Envato is trying to do here with all the hard rejects. So without quality being a factor, and so many things sounding the same, the low-ball sellers will beat the higher priced guys and eventually, everyone is back to the minimum price. That’s what can happen with price wars on the same site.

On the other hand, you can compare quality and consistency between different sites and justify higher standard prices while not encouraging an internal price war. The overall quality here at AJ is considerably higher than the referenced site. Between that site and this, it would be the quality here that would win. And when you consider that the average price there is only 80 cents below AJ’s current price, AJ wins when customers compare. Moving the price higher won’t change that as long as Envato continues to focus on quality. Even if sales do not increase, revenue does. And if we look in the higher direction towards those two major micro-stocks, if AJ’s quality is equal or better, they win big and sales plus revenue increase because they become the better choice at half the price. Plus, they retain room to grow.

I used to be in favor of self-pricing not all that long ago because it can allow a composer to be consistent with himself between multiple sites if he offers the same music on multiple sites. But after continuing research on the market, I no longer have that opinion and no longer support the idea of multiple non-exclusive agreements on the same music. That’s just a personal opinion.

May I ask how you arrived at that number?

I see that the average price for music is $37.39.

The average price for top sellers, by revenue, which I think is most relevant, is $32, and I even removed the +$100 sales there.

The average price for top sellers, by # of downloads, less relevant to your bank account, is $24 ($23.8).

What does that tell us?

  1. If you like money more than sales numbers, you should price above $30. (in my opinion - $39-59).
  2. Many authors are afraid to go up, but they clearly haven’t studied the statistics enough.
  3. The #1 track there is not in the top revenue list, despite the many sales. That tells us that $20 is too low.

Some other facts:

• 29% of all tracks are priced $39 and up. I skipped the $100+ tracks.
• 52% of all tracks are priced $26 and up. That means half would raise above a $25 level.

Listen, I’m not against a minimum of $25, I’m all for it. But I’m also all for being able to raise prices above that if you want. I know I would, because I am certain my total revenue would go up. I would probably go between $30-60 depending on the type of track and the existing competition.

Because people do not only shop by price downwards. For anything other than a YouTube video, $39, $29, or $19 doesn’t matter and if you want to find a track fast, you’d sort out the cheapest ones believing that experienced composers would price higher. I know I would.

A race to the bottom would be a disaster, hopefully it wouldn’t go that way or I would certainly move my entire portfolio to another market. Implementing a minimum price would guard against this, or preferably, only offering authors the option to price upwards. As someone else mentioned, authors living in countries with more preferable exchange rates may be able to price downwards, but living in the UK, I certainly wouldn’t (unless the value of the pound drops way more drastically than it already has).

I’ll start by saying these debates are a good thing for the production music industry overall. People need to hear different opinions and express their own. I’m an Themeforest buyer (who happens to be a musician) and not an AJ seller, but I have an interest in seeing the production music industry not go off the rails because it has been headed that way and I think “within site” self-pricing is just one of the problems. The low budget market is important because as quality increases, things done here could have an adverse effect on the rest of the industry, That’s why I also stood up for PRO registration and participate in these threads.

But in any event, to address the difference here:

We may be talking about two different sites. For the one I’m talking about, those numbers I gave are actually posted to all account holders who sell music there, or who, like me, signed up to sell there mainly for research purposes. It displays $18.20 as an average. To get that, one would have to add all of the prices of every track and divide by the total number and that’s something we cannot easily do for a site with over 450,000 tracks. Therefore, I’m accepting their numbers. That $18.20 price is to the right of where you fill in the amount you plan to post as your price. The average price for top sellers of $23 is also posted within the account. They do this to help you decide on your pricing. If those are old numbers, they are all we have to go by in terms of what the company itself is telling us through their calculations based on their inventory. On the site I’m talking about, there is no top seller list. They only have featured playlists and they are staff picks and genre/mood collections as opposed to being based on sales. You can only sort by popularity and there is no visible post on the number of downloads for a track, meaning there is no way to tell number of downloads as a customer.

I did use the tracks over $100 because they actually do exist and we are considering the full site and what would possibly happen here with no set limit. And by my numbers, using the entire catalog of 453,067 tracks when I looked (which is now 454,018 because the market saturation issue isn’t over just yet), 255,240 of the tracks were between $15 and $25. That’s about 56.3% (rounded down). My calculations if you stop at $99 priced tracks were a rounded off 42.4% being $26 and up, not 52%. That is misleading because it’s a wide range and doesn’t address the distribution of those rates over the numbers. This could justify moving the standard rate here upwards, but it doesn’t justify self-pricing. We have no data confirming that there is meaningful value to going above $25, we just see that some people do it, which we already assumed to be the situation. In addition, you’ve got composers moving in and out all the time. Many will come in and think, “Man, these prices are low”, and set them much higher. Over time, they don’t sell and they drop the prices. That’s not addressed by these statistics because they are not “over time”, but I think we all know that is exactly what happens. Lots of those who currently have set a price of $30 are going to end up dropping that down. They might not go as low as that $15 minimum, but then again, no one should be going that low.

If we’re talking about the same site and you have a different source of information, that’s fine and I don’t need see your source. I personally do not think self-pricing within a site is a good idea and these are just opinions. But on that last one regarding this…

We’re talking about comparisons of files on the same site in the same search result. That would make them very poor shoppers if they see two files in a search result that are of equal quality, as I mentioned in the prior post, and sound the same, yet they buy the more expensive one. I don’t think that’s how most people shop.

It’s been fun… moving on now.


We are talking about the same site. If you sell something there you will get access to more data. Current, updated numbers from this month and week. $37.39 is then displayed as the average price for all music. The minimum price used to be $5, and I believe the $18.20 number is a remnant from that time and simply hasn’t been updated on the upload page.

$32 is still average for best-sellers by revenue this month (from Sept 15). $31.74 for the top 20.

42% is the correct number for number of tracks priced $26 and up.

you shouldn’t worry about ADP, you should worry about Envato Elements … is goint to be very “fun” :)))

Yes, c’mon guys, let’s agree that standard licenses on AJ are way cheaper than elsewhere. The more important question is how we as Authors can influence the ADP system to a positive, because the only way to ensure that there won’t be another race to the bottom is a lower price limit.

Thanks for your comments!

Personally I’d very much like to be able to set higher prices on some of my items. Lower prices are, as many times stated, not necessary.