Gravely low sales on the AJ Popular Files list

Thanks for the kind words Graham.

I miss that AJ too. Lately AJ is becoming a cluttered, saturated disaster where authors no longer have a chance at cracking a successful track because there are so many lazy, cheap, carbon-copy tracks with firebird mutes to compete with (seriously guys, quit using those samples - it’s beyond old now).

I guess I can’t complain much as I’ve been graced with a few hit tracks in my time here, but it sure would be nice to still have that opportunity to continue with AJ. At this rate, as soon as my top sellers begin to fizzle, it’s lights out for me. No amount of new items will keep things going. AJ is too far gone.


I think that there is no reason to worry about the popular list. This list will not “die” completely soon, it will probably “die” in part (as they are always in sight of the customers and enjoy a lot of views), I’m more worried about new tracks that remain almost entirely with zeroes. The meaning of uploading new items is lost.


Someone at the community forum said that the musicians often go to law school to get another profession, so roll up your sleeves guys. I would also add that in our era of globalization, money began to be made out of nothing, a lot of monetization models, mining, sponsorships etc… Do not hold on to one source of income, diversify. Now is the time when knowledge is power, your brain now most valuable resource.


Well, there is no doubt that the Popular Files list has taken a hit lately. Those numbers are easy to see for everyone, BUT, what about the total number of AJ sales/earnings? As those numbers are not public, only insiders know this.

I say this because my own personal sales (as in earnings from the marketplace, I don’t have music on Elements) are normal (low 4 figures), even a bit above average. So, based on this data (1 portfolio), I could be led to believe that sales are normal to above normal. Someone else might look at their sales and think that the AJ website is about to disappear into a black hole.

My theory is that this is more a case of earnings being more spread out to more people, rather than an overall decline.

I believe that the redesign of the Popular Files list as well as Elements together have contributed to this, with the redesign actually being the bigger factor.

I think that any mega seller will be disappointed at Elements sales, while low to medium sellers will see an increase in overall earnings. The contributor bonus will be a larger part of the payout, and they have gotten a second chance at being visible in the search.

With risk of sounding a bit harsh, do the mega sellers who have enjoyed a search result monopoly on the most popular search terms for years really think that that is fair, or normal? It’s not. They have enjoyed an incredible privilege and marketing advantage because of the way AJ has been designed.

Is 140 weekly sales for one track to be considered “normal” while most tracks see 0-2 sales? Just because it has been like that before? This is the result of someone making the decision to constantly promote certain tracks and portfolios, by site design and more or less static search results.

At Elements, the search results are different, and there is no popular files list. Suddenly, other authors are ecstatic about their sales, while the ones used to big earnings are disappointed. Who is ecstatic about sales? Well, type in some of the popular search terms in the Elements search and you will see.

In the end, it all comes down to visibility. Sure, the top authors all have incredible music, but so do at least 100 other authors who have only seen a fraction of the earnings.

These are just my thoughts and theories, and you are very welcome to disagree and prove me wrong.


According to Ben’s post about AJ sales not long time ago this might be the case: 2018 Envato Annual Public Impact Statement

But as well as a decline in popular files list, I do question the decline in “Top New Files-In the last day”. Take these numbers with a grain of salt, but I think last year a good week day in Top New Files could be like 70-80 sales the last day, while now it is around 30-55 on a normal week day. Am I wrong or do someone else remember similiar numbers for totally fresh new items?

I also wonder if Ben is talking about growing sales number or just growing AJ revenue because of ADP.


I would guess revenue, as sales numbers really aren’t that relevant anymore. That’s another thing I forgot to bring up in my previous post - that the crazy focus on pure sales numbers, rather than earnings, has become even less relevant as we now have flexible pricing.

If you must quantify a track’s worth, earnings would be the logical choice. Not sales numbers on a $0.01 track. :thinking:

Most other big stock sites stopped displaying sales numbers and earnings years ago. It really doesn’t do much other than inspire copycats and hackers, boost egos, concentrate sales to a few select tracks (buyer group mentality), and scare buyers away from 0 sale tracks.

Of course, this is most likely not that good for mega sellers.


Wouldn’t an Audiojungle exclusive item being included in Elements be a violation of its exclusivity? It blew my mind to see that a recent long-time number one AJ hit is also available at the Elements trough.


Very good point

After new year I’ve lost almost half sales. so I can see that not only me have that issue :frowning: , so life goes on :smile: I belive that this issue will be noticed by envato! - in my opinion elemnts is not good idea. take care guys!

James could you tell mee (you are on elements) what about elemens income? how it works? thanks

James, I have been in the music for media business, and really the “music business” for 3 decades and what I can say is that success never lasts forever. Talented writers and even singers and “side” musicians all hit a huge break at some point, but eventually that “Big Break” fades away and unfortunately, so does the consistent revenue flow.

What kind of “breaks” am I talking about? Well it could be landing a series of big TV spots that pay big sync fees, or work for hire fees, and a lot of performance royalties. It could be writing for a popular tv show that provides good stable income for 5 years, but then the show dies. It could be singing on a huge USA advertising campaign and collecting residuals for 2 years. It could be getting booked to be in the band of a high profile TV show like Saturday Night Live, the the Late show, or performaing every night at a theatre (Union musician, steady gig, Insurance paid for)

These are events and breaks that provide stable and good income for short to medium term periods.

Eventually everyone has to reinvent themselves. I have lived and worked in a major market for many years and what I can say is that every professional musician I have ever met, and recorded with has had to reinvent themselves and their revenue streams. Not just once in a career, but probably 3 or 4 times.

Nobody remains on the top of the charts forever. My theory is that eventually everyone who needs to buy your track will have already bought it.

Like Flumen, I have found a way to increase revenue, not sales, but revenue is up since ADP. Can everyone simply forget about sales? Sales are needed, but now that you set your own price, you can look for other ways to increase revenue. Revenue is all that matters now. Would you rather sell one license a month at $999? or would you feel better if you sold 50 licenses a month for $15 ($750 in revenue)?

I still really believe that most corporate, professional customers simply do not care about price points between $20 and $60. They will search for what they need and buy what they find if it works best for their job. That was the way I behaved when I sought out a photo for an album I released 3 months back. I paid $25 for a photo. It just was not worth my time to seek out $5 options. I found what we wanted and bought it.

Buried under all this though is the “elements” monster. It’s pretty obvious that Envato is very cautious about allowing too many authors in there, because if too many people moved in there, the AJ market would implode. They seem to be selecting who they want to “take care of”. They have to see to it that you guys get a nice check each month to keep that beast alive. If 1000 more authors and 10,000 more tracks moved over, everyone would earn less from elements I’d think. However, if your combined monthly revenue is not going up, it may be time to jump ship. There is a reason why Envato is not presenting any data to you guys. No download stats are shared, no licenses are shared…really nothing is shared. And they are taking 50% of the pie as opposed to 30% from the AJ system.

I’m still shocked that so many talented authors see this market as a “good deal”.


Well said!


My opinion, they just killed the market.
Audiojungle was my only source of income.
Now I do not know what to do. No sales.
I write new tracks, but they do not buy, 0 sales on each. New tracks are not needed, I just waste my time working on them. Thank you very much Envato, when we were partners and earned together, now only Envato earns

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I wrote this in Sales Monitor so I just copy paste it:

I sell about 30% less tracks than year ago, I have circa 30% less views but thanks to ADP and higher prices I do not have any drop in earnings. Two months ago I had best month ever.

I’m especially happy with my “premium” unique and less commercial tracks which have prices between 40-100$ and attract buyers with bigger wallet. I do not sell lots of them, they are just a nice and satisfying addition which can be higher in the future. Though it’s a small but (I hope) perspective addition.

In my opinion this might be a way for some authors who would like to focus more on a high quality niche (e.g. video games) than mass yt video audio backgrounds. ADP made this model more profitable so I expect growing number of such authors and buyers. This would need time, especially convincing new buyers that AJ is not only an ukulele-corpo-trailer-drone-stomp library.

Also some changes in AJ UI would be helpful as current system favors popular genres and makes it hard to find unique high quality tracks.


James, are you really worried about sales? Why then can your tracks be downloaded at unimaginably low prices on elements? With all my love for Envato (thank you so much for the motivation to work and the opportunity to earn), I see no special prospects for the near future right now on audiojungle. Tons of tracks of the same type. The search system is so arranged that you can earn only by stamping tracks on templates, and this is all welcomed Envato. In cinematic it’s already a tradition to sell tracks for $ 5. Are you surprised at low sales? Strange question …


Trouble is, now, with Elements, even if it proves to be less profitable overall for the contributors on that platform, it may become harder and harder for the authors there to abandon ship, as it gains more traction from the regular Audio Jungle customers, owing to the fact that there will always be someone else waiting to take their place should they walk away from it. It’s sad because now that we’ve been given our own price tag guns, sixty to eighty per cent of whatever we choose to sell our music for is a sweet deal. Fifty per cent of a small portion of whatever Envato decide to sell the subscriptions for isn’t. I really wish Envato would re-think the pricing strategy for Elements (like, increase it ten-fold) and separate the company from the marketplaces completely. They are two entities in direct competition with each other, but at the moment, Elements is completely parasitic. If there was an ad-banner for P5 in the checkout page for my latest track, it would be unthinkable. It’s no different with the Elements banner from my point of view.

With all that being said, I don’t think Elements can be blamed for all of these sales woes. Customers recently have had to deal with their credit accounts being ham-fistedly taken away from them with next to no communication about it; and the change from the fixed pricing scheme that they’re used to, to one—from their point of view—that has no real logic to it. Couple those points with the increasingly laborious task of sifting through the ever-increasing swamp of copycat template tracks to find the good stuff that’s being shoved deeper and deeper into the murky depths which is the outdated and unintuitive search engine, where all the tracks have the same name… I can imagine there may be a few previously stalwart customers looking elsewhere at the moment.

If Envato would even attempt to fix some of the issues regarding copycat author profiles and some of the functional issues with the search engine, instead of trying to just make it look prettier, it would be a big help I think. Being such a ball-ache to find a track must be a huge factor in the decision to shop with a more concise platform like Elements.

@Flumen I really hope that your theory is the way things really are, and it’s encouraging to hear that there are people who are living largely unaffected by, and indeed thriving, despite all of these recent changes. It would be a great thing if sales in the jungle were being spread more evenly across the bread-slice rather than being scraped off by the competition’s knife.

I also agree wholeheartedly with your thoughts about sales numbers being irrelevant. When you think of it being the tool used to rank authors, it’s kind of ridiculous when you compare the paw badges of the top 3.

I always enjoy your positive, common-sensical posts and I ought to take a leaf out of your book really. Perhaps it’s not all doom and gloom here at the moment.

I’m just angry that a supposedly community-focused company like Envato could make the decision to so heavily devalue the hard work that authors put in, and devote such effort to enticing customers away from a platform that so recently made the great decision to put the power of pricing in the hands of the people whom that hard work belongs to. $16.50: a steak and a pint, or: all of the stock music, footage, photos, graphics and web templates that you’re likely to need for all your business’s promotional content and/or commercial services this month. I just can’t see how the stock production community as a whole can possibly benefit from such a crazy deal.


Keyword “supposedly”. Elements has shattered that marketing spin illusion permanently.

Elements only works if authors agree to participate. To all again, if you want the one off/ individual sync license model to last forever, and I really do believe we all want that, don’t join subscription models. Sell 1 sync license at a time. It really is still profitable. Customers do not like giving companies their credit card to just auto charge away monthly forever. I know I don’t like to subscribe or be on “auto pay” for all bills. Resist subscription models and then it will not become the norm.

Do your part in keeping our business alive and healthy. The responsibility really is on us. We need to almost unionize and define the wage structure ourselves. Just believe in yourself, your worth, and your product.

Who would really want to see selling sync licenses disappear? The only thing that can and will kill sync license sales is authors foolishly thinking that subscription is a better deal. It’s not a better deal. Don’t participate. I really am making more revenue each month with my pricing strategy. Try it. Really, it is working like a charm.




One thing that is certain in this business is change. It’s ok to celebrate those big breaks in your career but don’t waste time reflecting on them. If it’s no longer working, update & adapt.