Envato Elements: Price Update

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.

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What I want to know is when I joined the Elements it was for a lifetime of $19.99 per month as long as we did not cancel. This was the official offer for the first 30 days.My price should remain at 19.99 correct?

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Contributors Will Get Extra, More Earnings ?

Elements will reduce your 50% share to 30% in someday ?

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@jamesgiroux Thanks so much for the clear insights. It seems to be really popular.

I was just thinking do you aim to keep it at $29 even when you add Wordpress Themes? IMHO graphics and themes aren’t the best match under one subscription as theme customers tend to need much more support and updates than graphic items. Are you also trying to add the best selling WP themes or just the ones that don’t sell quite well and would give creators a nice bonus income?

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  1. What will you do about users who download all available content and cancel their subscription after one month? It’s demoralizing to see earnings as low as 0,05 cent for some of my items. I don’t see how an updated “terms and conditions policy” would change this behavior.

  2. I also see a decrease in earnings since December, although I had high expectations for that month. Can you share some insights and analytics about December?

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i want to ask, when we can enter the elements as a contributor ??

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As far as I know the contributor’s are invited by handpicked from entire marketplaces.

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where is the dislike button? I do agree that $29 is much more attractive to buyers, but you’re still taking 50% and asking us to share the rest with everyone else. I know you’re not really asking for our opinion, but allowing people to download every single item available was, in my opinion, the very first mistake. As is, there is no room for improvements. Or maybe there is, maybe support should become mandatory, or maybe the first month could be free, like Netflix.

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Okay, so $29 forever, right? Even if I make a dozen more templates or a hundred more, I still have to scratch my share from the $14.5 :slight_smile:

I understand the problem. It could be a drop in the new subscriptions or more people started to cancel their subscriptions when you tried to increase the price from $19 to $29. Because in November there are 12K subscribers (just after 3 months) and right now after 6 months its just 20K.

Well, keeping the price low attracts more and keeps more subscribers active, Great.

But what do you think makes a contributor want to upload more items to Elements?

I hope you’ll find a way.

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^ Well, is there also a lot to be excited about with ThemeForest too or we are working for nothing here? The most depressing thing here is…: Full Throttle “Anti-ThemeForestAuthorEarnings” developments.

Those developments are “MAYBE” (and only for a while) good for Envato (+ I don’t really think so for the long term) ; but with each of these developments, ThemeForest earnings see a huge drop for authors.

First, you have eliminated a very beneficial “visibility” and “balance” factor from the marketplace homepages (see on the thread below)

Then, it seems now we have a “forever” ElementsBanner on top of the marketplaces.

Do you really expect us to make sales while you advertise thousands of items for just $29, and keeping it more than a month on top of the marketplaces?

We are trying to sell, friends. We are promoting our items like crazy.
And guess what, once a member finally lands on our item’s page after all that marketing effort, they see a huge shiny Elements banner. The banner is everywhere. It’s at the footer. It’s on top of the page. It’s on our item pages.

What that banner is doing on my item’s page?

Now please tell me. You think this makes sense?

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Will also appreciate if you give us our share of affiliate earning for paid traffic to our item pages on ThemeForest that you steal away with the excessive element banners.

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You simply failed!
Your top 5 WP theme authors received almost the same number of sales last month! Not a whole market but just 5 authors from one category from one of your markets (No mater than it’s the most active category) Plus, the WP themes prices are double compared to elements subscription.

So much work, so much broken author hearts (discouraged, angry, lost trust of you) and after 6 months only 20K subscribers…
Did you forgot that the authors made Envato as we see it today.

Here are some advises for you! I know that you’ll not listen but I should write them :wink:
btw. sorry for my bad English

  1. Invest in your authors, make their life easier by investing in your system so the author spend their time and energy for creating more innovative and creative items.
  2. Discontinue the Element, as soon as possible.
  3. Spend the same energy an resources you spent for Element to authors and system improvements.
  4. Discontinue the author priced model, it simply makes authors to try to be marketers. The marketing of the items in the system is your job.
  5. Introduce a subscription based pricing. The buyer should be able to use the purchased item lifetime BUT can download the updates and receive support for one year. Renewal should be required to receive future updates or support.
  6. Build in house support system. The current commenting system is not working! Keep the commenting but for presale questions and build a forum alike system where authors can create faqs, pinned threads, mark support queries as resolved etc.

Maybe you to tried follow the subscription based trends in the tech industry (mostly software niches) but imo it can’t be applied as you tried with Elements, but can be successfully done as noted in the #4 above.

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It’s kind of like permanently advertising the competition on your site. Btw, there’s now a large Elements banner at the bottom of every Envato market page as well. Are they unable to promote elements effectively elsewhere?

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I’m being so disappointed and upset. Another market which has nothing to do with Envato is working 10 times better for me. They do not talk about commission to they authors but revenues. They know that to get high quality creatives you need to make them interested not with 36% with a non exclusive unfair agreement but with no such agreement and 70%. It seems that Envato completely forgot why they became successful. That’s a shame. Envato seems to completely ignore its authors to focus only on profit. Well, it can only last for a time. Word to the wise…

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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!

@jamesgiroux can you promise us that $29 will be the lowest price ever or should we expect more price reduction?

thanks for clear insights, but still not clear how to be a part of Element (for wp theme & plugins)

WordPress Themes thing is just not going to work with Elements. It is impossible. It will fail miserably. WordPress themes without support is simply not going to work.

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I heard that if they wanted support, then they would have to buy that from the authors at the normal price.

Although, to be fair… they did become successful “with 36% with a non exclusive unfair agreement”. In fact, they became successful paying 25% initially, and have increased the commission a few times. Sure, I’d prefer more than 36%… there are successful sites that pay 50% for non-exclusive content… but I’m just pointing out that it’s not like they got successful and then dropped the commission rate.

^ It’s a catastrophic marketing mistake, and it’s also a murder to use the word “marketing” in this sentence. It simply gives an idea about how THEY lack when it comes to marketing ; to promote “Elements” (which is destined to diminish soon or later) on its competitor, ThemeForest, meanwhile cutting the sales critically on ThemeForest. Really, friends, is this the best idea you can come up with?

To those who are responsible for that banner…:
“Apocalypse Survival” is possible ONLY with taking the right path with ThemeForest. Elements will not help you and can’t help you on this, and it’s only a momentary solution(!). You’re undervaluing authors’ hardwork, meanwhile advertising the terrible “hey, as you see web design / graphic design is such easy(!), we are giving them for almost free” idea on the four corners of the web with Google.

You’re on the wrong path, you have chosen the “easy” but ineffective path.
Elements will not save you, but ThemeForest can.

You know what? I recently heard about the story of a fellow author from one of the marketplaces. This author is happy to be approved finally, after a YEAR of rejections. In other words, this author worked like crazy for 365 days to be approved. For what? To see that you are giving thousands of items similar to their work for only $29? And not only that, also advertising it on its competitor marketplace?

“Time is the judge of all things”.
We’ll see.

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