Today, we’re updating the homepage of Elements to remove the language around an eventual price climb to $49 per month and instead are setting the official price of Elements at $29 per month.
This is a big change in our thinking, one that has taken us several months of data analysis to get to. Today, we’d like to explain how we landed here and why we believe it’s the right decision for the long-term sustainability of Elements and contributor success.
Since the launch of Elements last August, Envato has been surveying subscribers and gathering data not just from those who choose to sign up, but also from those who choose to leave Elements. Since Elements is a new product, we’ve been carefully watching how customers respond to different price points, how it impacts the time they stay subscribed, how much they download and how satisfied they are with what’s available. We do this because Envato’s success is tied directly to the success of contributors.
With this goal alignment in mind our research has been trying to find the answer to the question, “how much can we reasonably expect to charge a subscriber that will keep them satisfied and renewing their subscription every month?” For a subscription product like Elements, keeping subscribers is just as, if not more important than finding new ones - the more subscribers we have renewing their subscriptions each month, the more incremental earnings contributors receive.
What our research and data analysis has shown us is that charging $29 per month actually leads to higher earnings for contributors because subscribers stay longer. Put another way, further increasing the monthly subscription fee to $49 will almost definitely lead to more cancellations and shorter membership periods. This will then translate into lower contributor earnings, which is the exact opposite of what we’re trying to achieve.
Elements is all about providing contributors with a new source of earnings and increasing those earnings over time. The great news is that our data also shows that we’re headed in the right direction. Every month since launch, author earnings have increased on every metric - total author earnings, average author earnings, median author earnings, and maximum author earnings. They’re all going up every month!
The reason those contributor metrics are going up, is the growing number of subscribers. They’ve climbed from zero just six months ago, to almost 20,000 today. In fact, we added 3000 net new subscribers just last month! We believe that’s a great start for something brand new and speaks to the incredible efforts of our contributors to create amazing work that subscribers love to download.
To further support subscriber growth we’re going to continue to create compelling reasons to subscribe. One way we’re looking at doing this is by introducing a variety of new plan types for both lower and higher end customers. For example, we’re thinking about higher priced team accounts for small agencies and non-commercial licensing accounts for students and non-profits. Keep an eye on the forums for more info on this in the months to come!
As we bring on more and different types of subscribers, we’re also planning to strengthen the protections we have in place to make sure subscribers are using Elements in the way we originally intended. We know this is something authors care about and it’s important to us too. We’re currently working on changes to the subscriber terms and conditions to introduce a fair use policy - we’ll announce more on this in the forum as soon as they’re ready, so watch this space!
In the meantime, we’re very happy to report that the median number of downloads per subscriber has consistently been around 12 or 13 per month. In fact, over 25% of subscribers download less than 5 items, and 70% download less than 25 items. So even though there is no download limit, the vast majority of subscribers are using the service quite modestly.
With a growing subscriber base, growing contributor earnings, new ways to subscribe on the way, policy updates coming soon and a growing variety of content, there is a lot to be excited about with Elements. There may be some questions not answered here and over the next week we’ll be actively monitoring this forum post and will do our best to answer your questions.