Envato hard rejected my track, and it was the best thing for my AudioJungle portfolio

Originally published at: https://community.envato.com/envato-hard-rejected-my-track-best-thing-audiojungle-portfolio/

This story might sound familiar to you?

It was day 30 for me, at a time when newly submitted AudioJungle tracks were taking an average of 30 days to be reviewed. I had submitted a song, waited a month and was keeping an eye on my email because at any moment the approval note from Envato would show up in my inbox.

This email probably wouldn’t just be the standard boilerplate approval either. It would likely contain additional reviewer comments in the form of flowery praise.

Soon after that, I was certain my amazing new “Upbeat Corporate Inspiring Motivational Epic Happy” song would sell briskly and quickly end up on the Popular Items page. More sales would follow of course,

But that’s not what happened.

I received an email from Envato, as expected. But the subject line surprised me:

[AudioJungle] Your uploaded item Upbeat Corporate Inspiring Motivational Epic Happy rejected

Rejected? Seriously???

It’s never an easy pill to swallow, and judging by the number of forum threads that start with titles like “Another Rejection?” and “I Don’t Know Why My Item Was Rejected!” and “Can Somebody Please Explain Why Audiojungle Reviewers Don’t Realize How Incredible My Music Is?” hard rejection of new submissions is happening with greater frequency.

And here’s a shocker for you. That’s a good thing. (What???) You heard me.

After my initial disappointment passed (and following a fourth shot of bourbon) it was replaced by a somewhat begrudging understanding that the reviewer had done me a favor by keeping something out of my portfolio that wasn’t good enough to be there. The rejection wasn’t a personal insult. It was guidance.

There are more authors than ever at AudioJungle (and in the royalty free music business in general) and quality standards are going up. It will be harder and harder to get your submissions approved, and the only way to increase your odds is to hone your composing and mixing skills to always be improving and do your best work.

Which, again, is a good thing.

As an author, you want your music to be sold in a healthy marketplace with high quality work that is appealing to buyers. AudioJungle doesn’t grow its market share by being the best mediocre royalty free music source. The bar needs to be raised in order to attract more buyers. More buyers means more opportunity for you, provided you are producing the highest quality work.

AurusAudio certainly qualifies as an author who composes and produces high quality music. His “Uplifting and Inspiring Corporate” is currently the best selling track on the popular items page, and he has two more tracks on the page as well. He has also had his submissions hard rejected.

“A tough pill to swallow," he told me. "It wasn’t a nice feeling knowing your hard work was not up to scratch.”

"A tough pill to swallow."
AurusAudio also saw the rejection as an opportunity to learn and improve his craft.

“It’s easy to take rejections personally, but I’ve learned to view them in a different light - as a learning experience and a chance to sit back and reevaluate your work. There are a myriad of different reasons for the rejection of an item on the marketplace and I think it’s important to identify where exactly those weak spots are in your items.”

After two hard rejections, he reinvested his earnings into new sample libraries and gear and devoted himself to improving.

“I spent several months developing my composing, production and mixing skills, focusing on making every new release better than the last. The result is a dramatic improvement in the quality of my work since I began.”

"The result is a dramatic improvement in the quality of my work since I began.”
Another accomplished Elite Author, SunChannelMusic, has had submissions hard rejected, but those rejections haven’t kept him from selling thousands of tracks. In fact, they may have actually contributed to his success.

“Obviously hard rejections are frustrating at first because you like the tracks and have spent so much time making them. But you just have to remember that there’s nothing personal about rejections, and the reason tracks are rejected is because they likely won’t sell well. I use it as a learning tool to understand what AudioJungle believes, does and doesn’t do well in the marketplace."

"The reason tracks are rejected is because they likely won't sell well."
"I had a couple tracks rejected that had distorted bass. Since there isn't direct feedback provided for hard rejections, I could only correlate that these two tracks were rejected because the similar trait was distorted bass. Overall, it seems like distortion and saturation are tricky effects for AudioJungle as it has to be used with subtlety and without abrasiveness. Personally, I love both effects. But I understand that when you place songs as bed music, distortion can sound like clipping, which can distract from the voice over and the rest of the video.”

Even the best AudioJungle authors have experienced hard rejections, and perhaps they are as successful as they are because of how they chose to process the information.

AurusAudio rose to the challenge following his early rejections.

“I’ve come to realize that without high standards and heavy competition, there is no room to grow.”

SunChannelMusic has this advice for thinking long-term when it comes to building your portfolio:

“I would advise authors to strive to submit tracks that will nearly guarantee approval. While you may have a track that might just barely get accepted, that’s only the beginning of the life of your track on AudioJungle. Odds are, a track that just barely got accepted will sell only a handful of times, if that. Make tracks that are great so they not only get easily approved, but also go on to sell a lot and do well for you.”

Competition in the field of royalty free music will not decrease anytime soon, if ever. AudioJungle reviewers are charged with sorting through thousands of submissions daily, and are being more selective about what ends up on the website and what doesn’t.

Obviously, your first goal is to avoid rejection by submitting only your best work. But if you find a hard rejection email in your inbox, the mission isn’t to figure out what’s wrong with the reviewer. Use the forum to solicit feedback from other authors, and use the hard rejection and input from other community members to learn what you can improve about your work going forward.

Thanks to AurusAudio and SunChannelMusic for generously offering to participate in this post.

promosapien is a video producer, AudioJungle composer and a seven year member of the Envato Community.

Check out his AudioJungle profile



Fantastic article - well done @promosapien and thanks for sharing @AurusAudio and @sunchannelmusic!


Loved this quote:

“I’ve come to realize that without high standards and heavy competition, there is no room to grow.”

Very nice and inspiring! Thank you very much @promosapien @AurusAudio and @sunchannelmusic!! :slight_smile:

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Ahhh… could it be more lame?

Absolutely correct. I fully agree. But it really can be difficult at first steps to realise that…

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Fantastic article - well done :wink:

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Thanks for the article. It’s fully true!

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Thank you for an excellent article!

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Great article, and so much truth in it, but a lot of people get irate with rejections because the reviewers aren’t consistent, there is a lot of truly shocking work on Audiojungle, and a lot of authors compare their work to some of the trash that has been approved, I think the keyword here is “consistency” from reviewers

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I agree with everything but still I have a problem. Either if my items are approved or rejected I don’t receive any email while instead I received promotion and other things maybe interesting. There is no way to send an email to the staff, This is quiet annoying cause to understand if my item is approved or not I need to go in my portfolio or in the dashboard or in the hidden items. I need this fixed please.
thanks m

Inspiring article!!!

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Great article, Thank you for the inspiration!

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Sorry for offtopic but : “my amazing new Upbeat Corporate Inspiring Motivational Epic Happy song”

I know this probably wasn’t the real title of the song, but I actually see this a lot on AJ, and I also name my tracks this way, I have to so the buyers can find them…
But come on, let’s be honest, look how stupid and amateurish that title looks like :slight_smile: Imagine if you were customer and when you search something you get 10 000 songs with the same title or something like “Upbeat Corporate Inspiring Motivational Epic Happy” … You said in article that you want audiojungle to be respected by customers and to look good and professional, and I see this as the bigest problem and it has to be solved asap. There has to be a better way… I feel ashamed every time I’m writing title for my tracks. Please, this has to stop, its hurting audiojungle, customers and authors,and this site can’t look professional this way… :slight_smile:

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Greetings dreikelvin,

I appreciate you sharing your experience. This post is only my experience and opinion. It wasn’t written by Envato staff. In my case, the rejected track wasn’t ready. I certainly wasn’t pleased at the time, but I found the rejection to be ultimately beneficial.

Best wishes,


I think it’s time to renew the “what AJ doesn’t need” article

My theory is that the reviewee, pressured by a time budget, simply listens to 5 seconds of music and makes really superficial assumptions. Most of the review staff are not even real musicians.

I think you’ll find that most actually are musicians if my last 7 years here is anything to go by, but I totally agree with you that we shouldn’t be using AJ as the ‘golden standard’ to compare ourselves to! I also work in higher tier libraries, do film work, some advertising and TV scoring which seem to go down pretty well, so I’m always surprised at what gets rejected or accepted here. There’s no continuity with it really (much like with sales).

Like you, I also had two perfectly good mastered tracks hard-rejected recently and it’s also brought me one decision closer to terminating my AJ account. Why do I hang on? I suppose like everyone else, I’m under the false assumption that ‘my time will come’. It hasn’t though, and 7 years later, during which I’ve spent hours and hours trying to get some traction here, I’m seeing pitiful results despite my tracks selling well elsewhere.

I’ve seen too much politics here over the years to accept that reviewing and curation of bestsellers is an impartial process. It’s highly biased, and if you don’t fit the profile of what Envato want to promote (I certainly don’t being non-exclusive and vocal about my opinions I guess), then you really shouldn’t expect any favours. It’s upsetting as you’d think loyalty and commitment to uploading material to sell on their platform would grant you some chance of success, but really that’s a carrot on the end of a stick that you’re highly unlikely to reach ever in my opinion (and that of many others I’ve spoken to outside of here).

Anyway, the biggest problem with the review process that they need to sort here is that hard rejections come with no feedback whatsoever. Contacting support ends up with staff responding with answers like ‘get feedback on the forums from other authors (who don’t approve works on AJ)’ and ‘don’t feel bad about being rejected, it happens to lots of authors’, which ironically takes longer to type than actually giving a reason for the rejection.

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I had a similar experience - one of my songs was soft rejected, but it was a “hard” soft if you will as the reviewer was pretty straightforward, and the issue wasn’t something technical - there were musical considerations. And while I didn’t necessarily agree 100% with what they said, the general idea was spot on - I hadn’t been diligent enough in my production, and it wasn’t ready for prime time, and frankly, in that case I was thankful for the chance to improve it after listening again, trying to be as objective as possible.

6-7 month ago I got some hard rejects and after each of it I run around my room and become some crazy )))

But also in each time I sit down for DAW again and working working and WORKING. Now, I remember this time with big smile and understand how hard work really doing Envato Review Team and also I understand, that this situations (many my hard rejects) was very very useful and a good experience for me. Because it helped me grow professionally and most importantly, I want to continue to grow and I grow as quickly, as it possible for me.

Criticism and rejection - it is right to improve the quality of each of us, though of course there are some authors who have come here with a steep level Productions. In any case, just take criticism well and draw conclusions, correct your work and all will be well!

P.S. Sorry for my bad English and Have a Nice Day! =)

yeah, that’s right! it’s not a personal thing. :blush:

Guess what)))
I got my last track rejected several days ago… I went through all those “emotional stages” described by promosapien
So now I’ve just logged in to upload new track and what I see? This article )))))
It is definitely a SIGN sunglasses:
Improvement in production goes not so fast, but I like the process an will continue anyway…
The best to all!