Potential changes to the AudioJungle "Free File of the Month" criteria


#1

Hi guys!

I’ve been having a few conversations with people via email or DM about this, and wanted to open the discussion up to the rest of the AudioJungle community for your input. As most of you will know, every month we post a nominations thread for items offered as our Free File of the Month. The selected items receive a huge amount of exposure, via marketing emails and links on the front page of each market site.

Currently, we require that all nominated files have a rating of at least 4 stars.

Low numbers of customers rating their purchases is an ongoing issue, and likely to require complex changes that are beyond the scope of what we’re looking at here. However, discarding the rating requirement removes our primary item quality filter for potential submissions: it’s in everyone’s best interests for the monthly free files to be of exemplary quality, as they’re an important source of new customers who go on to shop across the whole marketplace.

So, I’d like to hear your opinons: what do you think are fair criteria that allow you to nominate the tracks that you think would be ideal Free Files, while still maintaining a high level of quality?

Current proposals:

  • Limiting nominations to one track per author, in each month. We’d like to see your very best proposal, instead of a list of many potential tracks :wink:
  • Changing the Rating requirement to an either/or criteria. Either 4+ stars OR X+ sales is probably the easiest way to do that - but which sales number would be a fair limit to set?

For anyone selling on other Envato marketplaces, please note that we’re not looking to roll this out across the other FFOM nomination threads at this stage - this thread is just focusing on the AudioJungle version.

Let me know your thoughts - once we have an alternative set of criteria, we’ll trial these in the March FFOM thread that will be posted on February 15th.


#2

Good call! AJ ratings are mostly useless. A threshold of 100 sales would be fine by me, but I’m guessing most authors would like to be able to submit a new or “invisible” track.

Giving exposure to “unexposed” items is generally very difficult in AJ, so I guess using “Free File” for that would be an appreciated option. Limiting nominations is a great idea, I’d suggest keeping it as low as you need. Once per year, for example :sunglasses:


#3

This is a good idea. The number of sales to use for qualification should probably depend on your top priority for the promotion.

If the primary goal is to use the FFOM to serve buyers, set the number high and take only tracks with big sales.

If the promotion is intended to help underexposed authors get their work heard, don’t set the number too high. There are a lot of high quality tracks with smaller sales numbers that are also worthy. I’ve purchased quite a few.


#4

Thats really great, because indeed it seems to be hard getting ratings on AJ, and i’m sure it not always means the item is the best. Personally miss a lot of promotional opportunities because of rating criteria, not only FFOM. And i agree with @Stockwaves, many would prefer to submit “invisible” tracks. Sales number on the other hand is quite the same criteria as ratings, depending on threshold. In my opinion the best way would be “editor’s choice” tho we all understand it would be difficult to Envato team and would take time to browse all the suggestions…


#5

Good idea @BenLeong !
I think the fair limit would be around ~40-60 sales, so this could be the good opportunity both for elite and non-elite authors, so authors could represent their good work.
Also limiting is an awesome idea, so I guess the nomination system should be changed from usual thread to maybe custom filling form, like you do with Envato competitions, so authors could submit only one track, so there won’t be any spam.


#6

What about setting it as the highest selling item in an authors portfolio. This would give new and old authors a chance and benefit both Envato and the author.


#7

First we have to know what’s the actual meaning of the rating here…Is it useful or not (?)

If this is true then I think we have to stick to this criteria and instead we should push the boundaries by inviting buyers to rate our tracks (either by putting banners in the item page or including a note in the zip file).

And from Envato I think it would be nice to implement an automatic pop-up window that invites buyers to rate the purchased item and the pop-up window should appear automatically when the buyer hits the download button so while the file is being downloaded the buyer can give the rating without wasting any time.


#8

Great proposal @BenLeong , I really like both of the two options you outlined, I really hope we can go ahead with this!


#9

Great feedback so far - thanks all!

@promosapien: Excellent question - it’s important to look at the goals before determining what the tools should be. In this case, it’s a bit of both: FFOM serves to showcase the market and get new customers in the door, so “top” tracks are important. It’s also another mechanism for helping under-exposed items, but that’s a (very welcome!) secondary effect - the primary goal is to showcase the marketplaces, helping to get new customers in the door.

There are a lot of new marketing initiatives on the way over the coming months, and many of those will be a better tool for helping with under-exposed items. If anyone reading this thread isn’t already aware of it, @matthewcoxy has started a mailing list (details here) for early notification about new marketing activities that you can take part in.

@TitanSlayer: We’re likely to start using more of those custom forms for other types of nominations, but I think the forum threads are still working quite well for FFOM. Participating in the Free File threads is broadly helpful to the community as a whole, and item nominations in those threads generate a small number of extra sales on their own - which is a nice bonus for those who took part. I’d expect those sales to only increase as we get more specific about our criteria (“this is a list of items showcase each author’s portfolio”), as it’s a type of context that customers can’t get from the search page.

@ArkAudio: Many good points, though changes to the rating system itself are beyond the scope of what I’m considering here - I’ll make sure the other teams looking into those systems are across the suggestions in this thread.

However, Author-driven initiatives like the ones you suggest to improve the number of people rating tracks are definitely a good idea. Quite apart from their value to customers when making sales decisions, item ratings are factored into our search algorithm - so they’re also an investment in the long-term exposure of your items via Search.

My preference at the moment is to introduce the one-nomination-per-author restriction, and change the criteria to “Minimum 4 star rating, OR at least 50 sales” for the March nomination thread - though the exact sales number may change once I’ve taken a closer look at the content library. We’ll review this after the March files are selected, and adjust if needed - it may take a few iterations to get it exactly where we want it to be, but I’d like to make sure that the author community, our marketing & analytics teams, and the reviewers all have some input to make the file nomination process as relevant as possible.


#10

And what about SFX? Or you just talking about music?
For me SFX criteria about 50 sales could be a good scaling point.


#11

Hi, @BenLeong!

I think this is the best criteria. 4 stars OR minimum 50 sales! It will be amazing change!! :+1:

Will it be only one nomination by author at whole time or one nomination per month?


#12

@Sick_Audio This will apply for any AudioJungle file nominated for Free File of the Month.

@LuckyBlackCat - One nomination per author, per month. We’ll keep doing a new nomination thread each month, as it reduces confusion over which files are/aren’t still offered (or people forgetting that they nominated a track months ago) - the new threads will be posted mid-month, and the chosen file will be featured two weeks later.


#13

100 sales as someone said is too much I think. If you got 100+ sales, that item doesn’t need help to get exposure, it’s already doing fine as it is. 30-50 is ok, that means that the item has big commercial potential and it can use a little bit of exposure. My track “Energetic Indie Rock” was featured on the first page of cyber monday sale when it had 15 sales and was almost 2 months old and in that week it gained 30-40 sales and now I have 81 and it continues to sell well today even 2 months after campaign. That exposure was great so I think the focus should be on items that are high quality but don’t have too much sales. I buy a lot of audio recording software, and I don’t see companies giving away their best plugins for free, they give you something cool and decent quality for free to attract you to them. And then if you like that and start to trust that brand you will probably buy some high end stuff from them. So, what about SALES NUMBER LIMIT for free file of the month? for example only items between 30-100 sales can nominate as they show signs of commercial value but could really use exposure? (I know this won’t be popular opinion :smile: )


#14

That’s a brilliant idea


#15

The idea and quality is the main criterion, about which many somehow forgot.
I saw a lot of good things, which had low sales (not 100 and 50… but 10-15, etc), had no rating, but was potentially commercially profitable and most importantly - unique and super interesting.

P. S. Besides, some people don’t put a rating (when buying items or tracks), because for buyers it’s not so important (if be honest), it’s important for seller, but not for buyers.


#16

I would add another point, for example - the opening of the month.
For example - You send tracks or effects (to the forum) and then by voting will be decided - which file was super cool and good for the opening of a month… And this file also will fall into the category of free file of the month. I think it’s may be interesting…


#17

But that could easily be open to abuse, for example somebody with a lot of friends on the forum or someone with a high profile on the forum will get more votes, I know I would instinctively vote for anything provided by a friend or contact. Also there’s no way to be sure the people voting have actually listened to every track from start to finish


#18

I agree that it’s potentially open to abuse, so I’m very wary of using a voting system for these types of promotions - it works fine for some types of thread, but not for the specific aims of FFOM.

It’s worth noting that we want many different approaches to improving the exposure of items and authors, so we don’t need a “one size fits all” approach. The weekly featured items and authors, for example, are a likely to be better at surfacing high-quality tracks that haven’t received much attention yet (as suggested by @FormatA5 and others). Those files are selected by the review team, as they’re the people best qualified to pick stand-out items from the newer files.


#19

Totally agree about not to be decided by voting by the same reasons said by BluSkyAudio (we’ve seen that happen a couple of times on some previous threads) it should be left to the review team as Ben said they are the most qualified for that, maybe just “downsize” the rating criteria is a good start, and Thank you Ben and the rest of the team to take an interest in this


#20

50 sales is the best number in my humble opinion!