How to find out why Envato takes the time that it does


#1

I don’t know why exactly the staff never explains why anything takes so long at various times where it starts at a 24 hour review then turns into 30 days, leaving the rest of us only to guess. I myself would guess that they don’t reveal the nature of the unpredictable time because it has something to do with competition, making sure competitors don’t know where AJ’s weaknesses are or what they’re allocating their resources towards. But, I would totally be willing to sign some confidentiality agreement just to know the answer, because I’m really sick of it being a question and it would help me understand the upload process. What say you Envato?


#2

Do you mean the item approval process or something else?


#3

If you mean the review time, it’s still very fast compared to other market places :wink:


#4

Yeah the review process, and I’ve actually seen it as comparable to other platforms. Why does it go from 24 hours to 30 days to 24 hours to 3 days to 4 days to 5 days to 6 days to 10 days to 30 days, then back down at seemingly random times? Just when I wanted to get back into uploading stuff I got very demotivated by the jump in queue time.


#5

From Envato’s side it would be sickness, absences, annual leave, training time for new reviewers, training time for new processes, attrition and layoffs. From the author side it’s purely down to numbers of uploads. New authors will drive that up, certain times might result in less uploads, like Christmas week etc. There’s a lot of variables which will result in a lot of fluctuation.

When you’re running any kind of queue you try and factor those things in but some of them are hard to estimate. Sure, they could hire dozens more people so it’s always a lot closer to 3 days than it is to 30 days (which would make authors happy), but the last thing you’d want is reviewers sitting around waiting for items to come in (which wouldn’t make sense financially).


#6

Well, I think people had some idea of variables, but like, how many dozens or even hundreds of reviewers have to leave for the queue time to jump to 30 days? And like, how long does it really take to train someone who’s already experienced in audio to just approve files that don’t sound like plastic or are over-saturated? It just doesn’t explain how the time shifts so gradually, it would explain more like if the time jumped from 3 days to 14 days and then went back to 3 days over the course of just one week, not why it would shift to 30 days over several months, then stay at 30 days for several months, with no warning, then shift down to 3 days over several months.
I feel like “too many” reviewers would be like 1000 reviewers or more, seeing as how there’s thousands of members uploading items each day while that number only gets bigger as time goes on, so why doesn’t Envato just hire some people who are only called in part time,so there’s not too many reviewers when times get slow? Because it’s pretty rare that it’s ever below 3 days, and when it is, it usually doesn’t last long, not that 3 days seems like a small queue.


#7

It looks like you mostly upload sound effects, so maybe you aren’t too familiar with the approval process for music, but it’s not about whether or not it sounds like plastic or is over-saturated, It is increasingly about “commercial viability” than whether or not something is mixed ok, and “commercial viability” is kind of a vague and tenuous notion that nobody is 100% in agreement on (including the reviewers) so they have to spend a lot of time listening to tracks and figuring out whether or not they are “commercially viable.” This probably has something to do with why they don’t hire more viewers, the other part of the equation is they don’t need queues to be fast, because the affect on their bottom-line is exactly 0, lol. Remember, Envato is running a business for:
#1 themselves.
#2 customers
#3 authors

At this point, they have so much audio they probably don’t even need new uploads when you think about it, which is probably why so much of it gets rejected these days.


#8

Yes, very true. At this point, authors have least priority from Envato’s point of view.


#9

I could be mistaken, but it seems highly unlikely that reviewers would ever be “sitting around waiting for items to come in” while being paid. Seeing as most reviewers are authors themselves, it seems far more likely they would be paid per review. With that business model, the only reason to limit the number of reviewers would be to guarantee them a minimum amount of work.

Meanwhile, those of us who have been around awhile remember that glorious 1-2 day period a couple years ago when review time dropped to an unprecedented 20 minutes…


#10

I don’t know if that would be legal and/or ethical. There’s nothing wrong with paying a fixed amount for ‘things completed’, but that’s usually to increase productivity… so somebody completes 50 reviews in a shift rather than 40, for example… not to save money in how much you have to pay them in total.

It would essentially be a zero hour contract. If the queues are full and the reviewers want the work, then that would probably work quite well… the reviewers fire through queue, the queue gets cleared and they all make a decent amount of money. Hopefully there wouldn’t be quality issues with the rushing… hard to say.

But in hiring a bunch of people to get the queues down, they will get the queues down, and then there won’t be a bunch of reviews for people to fire through. They’d be more of a fall-back at that point, with some people working full-time and others hardly working at all… or, everyone working part time where they may have been working full-time before.

Still, I’m guessing that nothing we’re discussing here hasn’t at least been considered by the team at HQ at some point… it is their job after all, so if they’ve not implemented one thing or another by now, then there’s probably a pretty good reason for it. The good old days of 20 minute reviews would be nice though!


#11

I think we need to be careful what we wish for here, particularly when making possible comparisons with competitor stock music sites.

My perception (rightly or wrongly) is that Envato invest a lot more into the reviewing process than any other site also operating an ‘open submission’ policy, i.e. anyone can set up an account and submit tracks for consideration without having to go through an initial author audition process.

I think this pays off for them over the long-term but if you were just taking a short-term view of the financial bottom line I doubt there would be an immediate effect on AJ sales volumes if there were (a) longer queue times for authors and/or (b) a discontinuation of the soft reject option.