Make quality items stand out! (General discussion on how to give high-quality items more weight.)

There may be several important problems to solve regarding the marketplaces and their development in the future - yet it seems to me that there’s one basic, underlying question that all those problems are related to:

How can Envato make it easier for customers to find high-quality items that fit their needs?

(Of course a few authors may want to argue about “what is a quality item…?” - but I’m not interested in that discussion.)

I think it’s obvious to everybody that the number of authors and items have drastically increased over the last couple of years. Since I can’t imagine that the number of customers has increased in the same way, it seems only logical to me that there’s simply less ‘attention’ by customers for each and every item. (At least that seems to be the case at Audiojungle - and that’s my perspective as an AJ author…)

Ok, so quality items get lost in the flood of new items and authors… What can be done about that?

Well, those quality items need some extra boost to make customers aware of them. A few basic steps have been already done by Envato that I can think of ad hoc:

  • The search engine got a (long-awaited) complete overhaul not too long ago. This made it possible to offer customers a search based on filters (rather than a search based only on text).

  • The minimum quality level (necessary for items to get accepted) was slightly raised from time to time.

  • Just some weeks ago, an upload limit has been implemented.

And of course there may have been many more smaller efforts and tweaks behind the scenes - and I can’t list them all here…

However, I think a lot more can be done to make quality items stand out. So - here’s a post to start a conversation about what CAN actually be done to make high-quality items stand out.

I want to start with this rather simple idea: A ‘LIKE’-button for items on Envato.

There actually is some kind of feature like this already: You can add items to your ‘favorites’. But this feature really works more as a ‘personal watchlist’ to quickly ‘mark’ items that you want to get back to at a later point.

What I’m talking about would have to be a new feature that would need a really prominent space on every item page: A ‘LIKE’-button and a simple counter along with it. The basic idea would be: If Envato isn’t capable of giving quality items more weight by editorial work (e.g. completely rethink the weekly features…) or marketing efforts (e.g. make high-quality editorial selections and market those directly to customers…), then why not give the community a bit of power to shine some extra light on items that stand out from the rest? Let the ‘swarm intelligence’ do a little bit of magic…

Of course there would have to be some things to consider for this to work (and to avoid abuse etc.):

  • Only registered members can LIKE an item.

  • Each member can only LIKE an item once.

  • LIKES should be anonymous. Only you should be able to see the items you liked.

And, most important of all: To really have an impact, the LIKES of an item should be an important factor in the context of search. The number of LIKES should be shown in the search results. And maybe it should even be possible to sort by number of LIKES. Ideally, the LIKES of an item would be shown along with the item’s thumbnail everywhere it appears.

Maybe there are good reasons why this idea won’t work? Maybe you have ideas that would further improve the idea?

Or maybe you have other, far more potent ideas on how to tackle the ‘quality-vs-quantity’ problem?

I’d really be interested in a constructive discussion about how we can point some actual spotlights on high-quality items to make it easier for customers to find them… Let’s hear it!


Sounds like a good idea, though there might be a some potential problems that would arise with a feature like that. For example, I can easily see the system being potentially “gamed” by large groups of authors coming together to like each other’s tracks in order to boost each item’s search position (similar to leaving lots of comments) rather than using the feature responsibly. Perhaps there could be a daily limit on the number of likes one can give? Also the tracks currently on the popular files list would receive a disproportionately high amount of likes just down to the exposure the charts provide, which would be unfair.

On that note, I would actually like to see the trending tag be disabled for items with over 1000 sales. The trending tag should, in my opinion, be exclusive to new items to give them a competitive edge and the chance to compete with already established top sellers.


I agree with @AurusAudio , I freaking hate like button because likes are easily ‘‘gamed’’ . We don’t need groups and spaming for likes , it’s gone bring more confusion to this place…


I absolutely understand and see these potential problems myself.

Yet my intention was to start a general conversation about possibilities to make high-quality items stand out…

For example: Do you think that Envato could or should do more on the editorial/marketing side? And if yes, what would you want them to do?

I can’t be the only one seeing the need for new ideas to tackle the obvious problems of a crowded marketplace?

Yes I think there’s more Envato could do regarding promoting new and quality items. They have actually sent out a few emails earlier this year featuring select new and trending files, which looked like a positive step forward, but they haven’t been regular so I don’t know if they’ll continue doing it. They also had the “reviewers hot picks” collections featuring a curated list of quality items selected by the reviewers, but those don’t seem to be happening anymore.

A regular weekly mailing list style email, sent out to subscribers showcasing a curated collection of quality new items would be a good idea I think. Perhaps either chosen by the reviewers or Envato staff.

I think the Top New Files list is an important avenue in showcasing well-performing new items. Though I think it should have more emphasis and be designed in the same way as the popular files list instead of being a simple search filter.

Yep. I too think that some sort of featured selections (other music libraries call them ‘albums’) are an obvious way of highlighting quality work.

I really was amazed by the recent forum post by Envato, asking for the ‘5 best corporate tracks’. Of course it’s OK to ask the community for help in doing your editorial work (though maybe a bit lazy…) - no one knows the (hidden) treasures of the marketplaces better than its authors.

What still amazes me is how random this effort seems. There seems to be no real strategy behind it. Why not curate hand-picked selections like this on a monthly basis. And please don’t hide that editorial work somewhere in a blogpost (which actually is the plan for those “5 best corporate tracks”). Feature those collections prominently on the frontpage of the respective marketplace, with a layout that is actually appealing to customers!

An honest question that I’ve always wondered about: Does Envato actually employ dedicated marketing teams for each marketplace? People who actually know how those (vastly diverse) markets work outside of the Envato universe?

Well, the idea might be nice, but hey Houston we have a problem!
First, authors comment each other like hell, to get 30+ comments, no sales and “Trendsetter” badge, with this idea they are goin to liking each other like hell again.
Then, it is fairy simple to boost your “likes” for money = fake.
Does it makes sense?

P.S. “Quality” items already have stand out over here, you just look.

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You’re absolutely right…!

Yet my question would be: How would you try to give more exposure to high-quality items? Any ideas?

I’m simply trying to encourage people to post their own ideas / strategies / thoughts. Just wanted to start the conversation by giving an example.

I’m not fixated on the idea of a LIKE-button, but I’m commited to the idea of finding some possible solutions to the obvious problem: The bigger the number of items/authors gets, the more important it is to give customers additional ‘tools’ to find high-quality items that fit their needs.

Any ideas as to what those ‘tools’ could be are more than welcome…!

Where and how do you see that? I don’t…

Do you really think that there’s no need for Envato to have more focus on quality rather than quantity?

Featured items, featured authors, freebies, contests, etc, etc.

I didnt say that.

@TitanSlayer I think it’s a good idea , but for one thing , to likes should not affect the search query or rating )

There’s no better indicator of a file being ‘liked’ than lots of people buying it. Nobody is going to buy a file they don’t like, but plenty of people could ‘like’ an item even if they don’t like it, if it’s free to do and provides some kind of benefit to the author.


I want to emphasize again that I think it would be far more interesting to hear everybody’s thoughts and ideas on how to shine more light on quality items in general.

Let’s not stick to the LIKE-button. It was just meant as one idea to get things rolling. (I get it… People would abuse it. Done.)

What other ideas do you guys have that could make more quality items stand out from the masses?

Raise the quality bar even more for submissions so that the market consists only of quality items.

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Just need Envato to send a “Top 10 new items this week” email per week :wink:

So in general you think it’s Envato (staff/reviewers) who should pick out items that stand out and promote them, right…?

I’m not sure if weekly emails would be the best place to present them though. That could feel intrusive to customers really fast.

But if Envato would create designated landing pages, where those hand-picked items could be presented in an appealing way (with a real layout, not just like a collection), they could lead customers to those collections directly from the front page of each marketplace.

So, why do you guys think that there is no such marketing strategy in place right now? Does Envato feel that it would be too much work and wouldn’t be worth it? I can’t think of a good reason why Envato wouldn’t do something like this…

Interesting conversation. @Tunediver, perhaps a good place to start is in defining what quality really means?

At the risk of causing offence, I think that ‘quality’, for the purpose of this discussion… is any item that the author feels should be selling more than it is currently, when compared to items that the author feels are not as good as theirs.

You may feel that you’re not interested in what is quality, but that’s got to be the cornerstone of what you’re suggesting. What if envato invest a large amount of time, money and effort into promoting more quality items. As a result, loads of authors sales increase, and your sales drop? I’m sure at that point, you would regret not defining what ‘quality’ is.

I like the idea

Hi @matthewcoxy ,

glad you joined the discussion!

Well - defining ‘what quality really means’ isn’t an easy topic, especially not in a marketplace as diverse as Envato.

In general I think that Envato would / should employ (marketing) managers for each marketplace and they should simply know from years of professional experience in the industry (outside Envato) what makes a high-quality product in their respective area of expertise. (I’m actually curious: Are there designated product managers for each marketplace?).

But OK, I started this - so I’ll play ball… :wink: (Yet obviously, as an AJ author I can only speak about music on Audiojungle. But maybe some aspects also work for other marketplaces.)

First of all, let’s be clear: A ‘high-quality music track on Audiojungle’ is not simply the same as ‘great music’.

‘Great music’ is a completely subjective concept. For me personally, it’s mostly music that moves or touches me in any way on an emotional level and/or interests me intellectually. That could be music from any genre or style out there. For somebody else ‘great music’ may be something completely different.

But that’s not the kind of definition of ‘quality’ that we should discuss here.

Regarding Envato, we’re talking about a market. And regarding music on AJ, we’re talking about production music. That is music that customers license to use in their own projects/productions (mostly video). When our music is used in such a production, it serves a purpose. So from my point of view this is the most important aspect in defining what is a ‘high-quality music track on AJ’. All other aspects are related to this one question: ‘Will a client want to use this in his/her production?

To go a bit more into detail:

There are of course the technical aspects that are important. I don’t want to get into the details of what makes a professional mix here - but we all know that there are great and there are terrible ways of mixing audio levels, using audio compression, making use of the stereo field, adding reverb etc. etc. Simply listen to big, professional productions out there that are actually used in film / tv / commercials and let those set the (industry) standards.

Of course there’s also elements of composing that are important (some of those are directly related to and can’t be really separated from the technical aspects…). Here it gets a bit more tricky, because we’re talking about creative decisions that can’t always be criticized objectively. But again, there’s of course just ways of using chord progressions, arranging your instruments and structuring your track that simply won’t work for any video material out there.

And then there’s the magic extra ingridient (which might be the hardest to define and the most controversial to discuss): Originality. Let’s be honest: We’re all not reinventing the wheel here. We’re working on the basis of other works from artists (past and present) who themselves worked on the basis of works from other artists and so on.

So ‘originality’ in the Audiojungle (or production music) world could simply mean to do some tiny little thing in your production a little bit different, to give it a unique touch. No reinventing rhythmic patterns or anything like that, just a tiny pinch of ‘unique’.

The hard thing of course about originality is that there’s a lot of clients who actively seek music that has something ‘unique’ (that’s mostly high-caliber clients from the TV- and film industry). Yet on the other hand there’s a lot of clients who would shy away from buying a track exactly because it’s different from the rest (that’s the smaller ad agency who doesn’t want to ‘shock’ the consumers out there). That’s been at least my experience when writing music for hire in the last 10 years. So, if we’re talking about hand-picking ‘high-quality AJ tracks’ for promotion purposes, I’d always try to throw enough tracks into the mix that have something really unique. Simply to keep things interesting for clients.

Again: The most important question when defining what makes a ‘high-quality track on AJ’ will always be ‘Can I imagine this track being used by a client?’. Ideally you can imagine a track in a high-caliber production (e.g. a trailer for a big film, a commercial that will be broadcast to millions, a highly professional company film for an international brand etc.) - that’s when you know you have a ‘high-quality’ music track on AJ.

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