Today, we’re announcing some big and important updates to our exclusivity policy.
A lot has changed since this policy was first created. The customer base has grown, the author community has grown and competition has intensified. Over the years, exclusive authors have established well known item brands. More and more, authors are looking to diversify their product portfolio.
These are natural developments for a marketplace and mostly welcome ones. The playing field is very different compared to when we first started out and our exclusivity policy needs to reflect this.
Before we get into the details, why do we even have an exclusivity system?
Envato’s exclusivity system rewards authors who build recognizable item brands in connection with Envato. It’s intended to be a mutually beneficial arrangement. Authors who choose to participate pay a lower and decreasing author fee in return for making their content only available via Envato. It’s a way for authors and Envato to work together to amplify each other’s brand visibility and reach.
So, what’s changing?
Historically, our exclusivity policy has been item based and relied on the “sufficiently different principle”. For example, if a second item was sufficiently different to the first exclusive one, then that second item could be sold (or given away) elsewhere.
As product brands have grown to be bigger than a single item, this distinction has become more difficult to apply. So, the biggest change we’re making is to introduce the new concept of a ‘Product Family’.
What exactly is a Product Family?
A Product Family is two or more related items that are presented to customers as being related, usually connected through a branding or naming convention. Product Family relationships include, but are not limited to:
- Item Versions, e.g., MyItem and MyItem Lite.
- Item + Add-ons, e.g., a WordPress plugin and its family of add-on plugins; or a video template and modules of additional scenes/presets.
- Multiplatform Ports, e.g., MyTheme for WP, MyTheme for Magento, MyTheme for Drupal, etc; or
- MyTemplate for After Effects and MyTemplate for Apple Motion.
- Service Delivery Variants, e.g., MyTheme and MyTheme Hosted.
We’ve included detailed descriptions for each Product Family type as well as a few key exceptions in the updated policy. We encourage you to take some time to read these carefully.
Importantly, from today (8 August 2017) for all new items and the beginning of November 2017 for existing items, if you choose to make an item available on an exclusive basis, then this arrangement covers the entirety of the product line. Items from the same Product Family must all be available exclusively on Envato.
What else has changed?
In the policy itself, we’ve also added a section to clarify that your exclusivity extends to products and services by third parties.
For example, authors of themes sold exclusively on Envato cannot authorize external developers to create add-ons for those themes and sell them outside Envato.
On top of this, we’ve updated the following documents:
What does this mean for exclusive authors who are now breaking the new exclusivity rules?
The new policy begins today (8 August 2017) and will immediately apply to all new authors and items.
For existing authors and items, we know this is a major update and expect that some of you will need time to adjust. To support you through the transition, we’re allowing you a grace period from today. The policy will apply to you and your items from November 1, 2017. Exclusive authors should take steps promptly to check that they are in line with the new policy and start making changes if necessary.
We have always valued the choice authors make to sell with Envato exclusively. It strengthens the relationship between Envato and authors while creating opportunities for authors to earn more and grow their brand.
Moving forward, exclusivity becomes more comprehensive. From one item with one name/brand to multiple items linked together by the same name/brand. Product ‘families’ that help both Envato and authors grow together.
We’re committed to helping authors offer exclusive and unique Product Families across Envato. Envato Hosted is off to a promising start while Elements continues to pick up steam, both creating opportunities for authors to earn recurring revenue.
We think there are more opportunities out there for authors to expand their Product Family and we continue to build the infrastructure to make it all happen.
We’ll be actively monitoring this forum post for the next week, collecting questions and responding. Please keep the forum guidelines in mind when you post and hold back from calling out specific items in this thread. If you identify new items that are in violation of the policy (again, existing authors and items have until November 1, 2017 to bring their accounts in line with the policy), please create a help center ticket for your report.