Broadcast licenses... yet again!

Hey guys,

So I know, this not a new issue. But it’s been one that’s really been bugging me for the past few years. The broadcast licensing system is being abused more often than not.

Thanks to Tunesat I discovered that one of my track has been broadcast more than fifty times over the last couple days on major UK networks (Cartoon Network, and Disney Channel).

However, the buyer got the first 1million license, when it should have been, of course, the top one. This is not the first time that this happened to me. Indeed, twice before I’ve had to make buyer get the correct license, which is never a pleasant thing.

Only three times have I been able to find out about my music being broadcast, and three times out of three, they hadn’t gotten the correct license. Their excuse is always the same: “we thought the actual audience was the metric, not the potential reach”.

For years, ever since Envato launched the broadcast licenses, we’ve been screwed over because of this confusion on the license terms. Broadcast use with less than one million in potential reach should be an extremely rare occurence. Yet, this is the most common broadcast license. This is money lost! Lots of it. This needs to be addressed! Now!!


Sorry to hear that, you are probably not the only one loosing theses licenses… But can you change the text in the licenses to something more clear and tag someone in Envato? Switching the text in the licenses is not exactly rocket science for Envato.

I am not a multi-million company with an expert legal team. It is their terms that have led to this confusion/abuse, they should do the fixin’.

This is not my issue. This is the whole community’s issue. And it should be Envato’s as well. The broadcast tier licensing model is broken and needs serious attention from serious people at Envato.

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I see your point.

I´m just a bit worried how much control over this Envato has, like for example when the Elements broadcasting rights was announced, they claimed the buyer is responsible for paying PRO money, I think I read the same in the Licenses FAQ recently if I´m not mistaken.

Actually, what they’re saying is “the buyer may be responsible for paying PRO money”, which in some cases is accurate indeed. Broadcasters do shop here (my second broadcast misadventure was with a direct broadcaster, a Finnish network). And buyers using music in live event contexts may be considered broadcasters and be held accountable for paying PROs.

Just an idea:
Since we have the freedom of ADP, have you considered charging the same for both Broadcast licenses? Not a perfect solution, but certainly one that would level the playing field to some extent.


Yes I’ve thought about it. Then forgot about it. I don’t know though, it would be unfair to the good people of King county, TX and other desolated areas… If nothing change though, I may resort to this and hence nullify the first tier license.

Ahh I see, thanks for clearing that up.

So 10 million license is the one most broadcast buyers should choose?

First step should be moving License Tiers from drop-down menu somewhere where buyers can actually see them. I don’t whant to say anything bad about buyers, but they ask sometimes «What’s that voice in the track keep saying Audiojungle all the time? Can I buy a track without it?» So I think some buyers just did not see or even did not know about these High Tier Licenses, if they will be informed then they will buy the right license. Though this will not help against scammers and thieves.


Absolutely. I’ve been vocal about the current license visibility issue since it’s inception, proposing something like a please choose your license window, but sadly the community tought it’s not a great deal and Envato ignored it.

Mind you @Envato this is not only screwing us Authors over, it’s also money that YOU are loosing.


Yep, we’re loosing money here. The annoying thing is that buyers of the broadcast licenses usually have budget for the biggest options but often they are not aware of which license they should buy.

Do you think that licenses should have better descriptions? Here is a description of licenses on the item page:

Use in one end product, free or commercial. Most web uses. 10,000 copy limit for a downloaded or physical end product. Plus up to 1 million broadcast audience . The total price includes the item price and a buyer fee.

From my experience buyers have problem with defying “1 million broadcast audience”. Usually they think it’s the size of audience of one broadcast. To check this they have to click “License details” and afterwards “How do I know my audience size”. A lot of digging, for many it’s too much digging. And finally there is a note:

If you are using a music track in a Broadcast project, simply ask your client or producer what their intended audience size is for the production, meaning the maximum number of people the Broadcast has the potential to reach.

As a general rule of thumb, an audience size up to 1 million tends to be more for local and hyper-targeted broadcasts, 1-10 million is more on the regional-to-national scale, and above 10 million is typical for national and international broadcasts. Please note this may vary depending on your location and target market. In some places, this audience size measure is similar to the broadcast DMA.

In the first place I would try to update the basic license description from the item page. Maybe something like this:

Use in one end product, free or commercial. Most web uses. 10,000 copy limit for a downloaded or physical end product. Plus up to 1 million summed intended broadcast audience (more info about audience size). The total price includes the item price and a buyer fee.

This should exclude many buyers’ mistakes. Keep in mind that such a small update will be much easier to achieve. What do you think about it?

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I’m not sure “summed intended” really nails it. It’s still as vague as “up to”. And the “general rule of thumb” paragraph in the explanation further complicates matters.

Frankly, the differentiation by audience size is not an effective metric by which to measure. According to this link, most US cable outlets aren’t even reaching 1 million viewers per day. Can you imagine selling a lower tier broadcast license then having your music heard on CNN or Nickelodeon? Mind-boggling - - - but according to the vague licensing terms, apparently acceptable?

Personally, I think the 3-tier structure used by another popular stock site is pretty clear: Individual (for Background video on personal website), Business (In-house production, mid-market companies) and Premium (Broadcast or feature film, advertising).

Perhaps there should only be one broadcast license, while broadcast and film remains as is?


I would love to see the broadcast licences properly integrated into the purchase system so that there is no room for ambiguity. It seems to me that all Envato’s focus at the moment is on attracting the many independent customers with their pushing forward of Elements. What would really interest me is if they started to put some focus on attracting more customers from the TV industry and making sure that we are getting a fair slice of their larger project budgets for what is, for the most part, one of the most important components of video entertainment.

Also, I gotta say, I’m not keen on the thought that a video production company may have a project budget upwards of $10,000 for a corporate video and they can licence my track for $44. Those guys should be paying more. And I more than sympathise with you @PurpleFogSound. I think anything that goes on TV full stop, should be paying the highest tier.

This may be an unfair assessment, and someone correct me if so, but it seems to me that Envato begrudgingly installed a tiered licencing system at the wish of it’s authors and in so doing, did a half-arsed job of it because they wanted to remain clear to the customer that low price is their priority and key market focus. If they were really keen on the idea of implementing broadcast licences, they would have made it clearer than just a drop-down menu option for customers to ignore at will.

Even now, on the one hand, they change to author driven pricing (with super low pricing suggestions, i should add) and then they balance that great move forward with Elements, which is a push back towards even more ultra-low prices.

It is frustrating to say the least.


I agree with your idea @EightBallAudio. Your three tier system sounds a lot clearer and simple to me than the one we have at the minute.

Choosing the right licence for the track you want shouldn’t be just an option, but at the same time, it shouldn’t be difficult.

Thanks…but it’s not my idea.

The 3-tier system is from another stock site…which by the way has a package deal similar but not identical to Elements…at a MUCH higher price.

But that’s another story…

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I’d say that’s the best solution. Combined with a pop-up screen of course, asking the customer directly to choose the right license.

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It would depend on the scope of the project, so I don’t know. What I do know is that the criteria for the 1 million broadcast are not that common. As most networks throughout the world are accessible to more than a million people.

Yes, this definitely should be the first step.

Well, to be honest, I don’t think that this is any clearer. What I get from this, is that the audience size as defined by Envato’s terms is the cumulative audience score over each broadcasts. Which is inaccurate. The audience size is the broadcast DMA or potential accessibility, which is a fixed number and cannot be summed by nature. Which is a concept that can be confusing and is not easy to explain, especially with Envato’s ambiguous choice of words.

Yes, especially since audience size can mean different things, which can drastically change the perception of the license that’s actually required.

Maybe there is a need for more than one broadcast license. After all, I don’t doubt there’s a huge budget difference between a local Pizzeria ad on KSBY and a national campaign on NBC. Maybe a tier system such as Broadcast Local - Broadcast National - Broadcast International, or Broadcast Local - Broadcast Regional - Broadcast National, depending on which is more fitting, could be an easy solution that does away with all the confusion of what the audience size means. .

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Who from Envato was doing the communication when you got the tier licenses implemented the first time? Is that person still around?

Right now as I temporarily solution I think I will price my 1 million and Music Mass Reproduction closer to the 10 million license. But there is definitely need for a simpler system, I´m having a hard time to understand it fully myself to be honest.

I think @EricSchwartz worked on the broadcast tier system at the time. I have no idea if he still works at Envato though.