Quality vs. Quantity - Could this be a solution for Audiojungle, too?

music

#1

Did you guys see this new announcement concerning PhotoDune?

Now that’s a bold move if you ask me:

It’s time for a new approach.

Over the next year or so, we plan to make a series of improvements to how we do photos at Envato, across three main areas:

  1. Our photos offering to customers: We’ve introduced new quality standards as the starting point for transforming PhotoDune into a finely-tuned, quality-driven collection. In 2017, we’ll also be giving customers a photo subscription option via Envato Elements.
  1. Our relationship with authors: The biggest change we’re making here is to switch from reviewing items to selecting authors who we trust to upload only the best quality content. We’re also going to let authors decide item prices on PhotoDune. This means more control for authors and more time for us to develop resources and tools for author success.
  1. Our photos platform and the technology behind it: Our UX for uploading, storing and showcasing photos and its underlying infrastructure are in serious need of an upgrade. Our main goal here is to lay the groundwork for future improvements.

Could this be a solution for the ever-increasing quailty-vs-quantity-problem on Audiojungle, too? What do you think?


#2

Well, I think it’s an interesting move.

Maybe, like in Elements or ADP, the Envato Team wants to try this first in some marketplaces for testing the results and then apply the same to the others… who knows?

Here in AJ we have the same problem: because of the increasing number of authors and items on the marketplace, this one is designed to give you the exposition mostly in the initial boost when a song is released.

And maybe that’s why there are a lot of authors who upload more than 50 items/month with a so-so quality instead of fewer but good ones.

It’s a vicious circle scenario.

So my bet is yes, this can be a solution in the future… but I think AJ is a much more complex marketplace than PhotoDune right now and Envato is not going to apply this anywhere soon here, at least until an in-deep analysis of the results there.


#3

Did I break something on AJ? (900th item in queue - oops)


#4

When I read the post I immediately thought of audiojungle. It’s probably needed there too.

My opinion on this is the same as my opinion of audiojungle possibly going to Elements: It would be great… as long as I’m invited! :joy_cat:


#5

That makes sense if we can set our own prices on AJ. Otherwise, motivation to bring really special here is quite small, to sell it for 15$ or 19$. I do not say we do not need to, but motivation is smaller and you working on your usual stuff, you know.


#6

It’s inevitable. They will eventually start auditioning authors before accepting uploads to make sure they aren’t going to waste time reviewing haphazardly. Some authors might get one song accepted out of every five or so. That means Envato wasted time reviewing four of the author’s songs to just get one acceptable one. On the other hand, if they have authors who only submit quality work and get just about everything accepted, they don’t need to do much in terms of curating beyond categorizing. This can easily decrease over saturation of certain genres and completely eliminate the “copy cat” issue that is problematic in the lower level market. It also gives them time to start handling the metadata and avoid the game playing authors can often be guilty of doing. When the metadata is created by a third party using standardized keywords, that can improve search engine function by providing more accurate results when coupled with the ability to give your customers standard keyword choices to drill down on their results. Authors should not be creating their own keywords without guidance because it’s very easy to cheat and just use popular terms that don’t accurately describe your music. Too much of that destroys a search engine and that happened here prior to last year’s overhaul of the algorithm. The search engine appears to be much better, but there is always room to improve.

This is what is done in the higher level libraries and it’s the only way for AJ to move up to a level where higher rates are expected. As it stands, there is a lot of mediocre music that sounds the same as everything else. That does not represent a “curated” library and cheapens the overall value of the site. So, if they move to demo submissions to request permission to become an author, things will only get better. Heaven knows there is no shortage of composers in this market and the “bubble” needs to be burst sooner rather than later. No one is entitled to automatically be accepted to any marketplace.


#7

I think it should be somewhere in between. No need to stop uploads and make it “invite only” platform, but to implement some kind of verification and quality control of all new authors willing to apply.


#9

I think so, sooner or later this will also hit Audiojungle. In the end only some kind of submission standard can keep the marketplace from beeing oversaturated by soundalikes. It’s no surprise customers avoid the search engine and go straight for the top sellers list. I’d appreciate if the review team would judge items also by it’s uniqueness. The time is right.


#10

Yeah, I agree that it’s hard to put as much effort into a piece directed for Audiojungle as it is a commissioned library piece, simply because of the low licensing price. I agree with @AcousticBro in that regard.


#11

I agree. I think the staff picks (featured tracks) are basically what determines the top seller list because the featured tracks get so much front page promotion it’s only natural that they’re going to sell. A lot of customers are going to go straight there and skip the search unless they don’t find anything there or on the top seller list. Even then, some are going to sort the search results to best sellers. If the AJ team keeps featuring the same styles, naturally the top sellers are going to reflect that. You have a vicious cycle. Perhaps this is already changing, but I’m not really seeing it yet.

A little while ago, I looked at a break down of what was on the top seller list. Here’s what was there:

  • Sheer boredom (aka: the typical AJ corporate song with muted guitar riff and delay, simple chords and a 4/4 kick drum) - 13 songzzzzzzzzzzzz…
  • Pop/Rock Anthem, Epic - 10 songs
  • Dance Pop - 8
  • Solo piano (orchestral background) - 7
  • Bouncy Rock with hand claps - 5
  • Basic Rock - 4
  • Orchestral - 4
  • Acoustic Guitar / Uke - 4
  • Hip-Hop - 1

Now, that’s my subjective categorization of what was there about a week or so ago. You might have used different terms, but the groupings are based on production style, genre and arrangement. That’s actually an improvement from about 6 months ago, but there’s not a lot of variety there. Quite a few within each group sound a like.

There is one good way out of this. That is to use the playlist concept instead of having a single featured list and a single top seller list. In that situation, you’re featuring multiple tracks within multiple playlists based on genres, moods, themes, holidays, etc. This is NOT the same as a genre or style sort because the tracks are actually featured, but within categories. That provides the variety and gives hand picked tracks within each grouping more exposure. And on the topic of quality, once Envato starts to emphasis quality by pre-screening, all of those lists are going to have solid tracks that can be rotated regularly with all of the other solid tracks in the library that fit those genres. That gives all authors a chance for promo with AJ not having to compromise or ignore authors with lesser quality. You can still have a top seller playlist, but without giving it any more promotion than the other playlists.


#12

There are always two ways to see things. We don’t have to look at it from our current perspective since an improvement in the overall quality of the catalog would justify rate changes. The simple solution is for AJ to raise their price if they dramatically improve their overall quality. That seems logical and I don’t think customers will care once the rapidly constructed, template based music is gone.

As someone who has worked for music libraries, self-pricing is a nightmare. All sorts of issues come up you might not consider. One thing is that it can create a pricing war - no need to explain. Another, coming from the library’s point of view, is the inability to have consistent revenue. The value of your site’s catalog is determined by multiple sets of pricing that can often change with no rational though behind the marketing and no objective evaluation of quality. Frustrated authors can start changing their prices up and down dramatically and often. Some people will price according to length, others won’t. Some over price, some under price. It’s just a really bad idea.


#13

Honestly, one of the things that I think would help the most is removal of items that haven’t sold at all in the last 6-12 months.

Also, I think limited author driven prices would be helpful. For example, Evato could allow an author to choose from the following prices: $15, $19, $25, and $29. That would allow for very complex or quality pieces to be valued over other pieces.


#14

Yes, I agree, self-pricing would be a disaster. I think the consistent pricing on AJ is one of the greatest strengths of the site, and assists authors as well as buyers.


#15

This seems like a good compromise I suppose. If they had to do author-selected pricing, I would prefer it to be limited such as the way you suggested. Mind you I would prefer it if Envato continue to be the ones who choose all pricing.


#16

I think that is a BRILLIANT idea! Or perhaps removal of all items that have never had a sale and are older than 6 or 12 months. Perhaps if a track has 10 sales and hasn’t sold in 12 months you could make a case for it being kept, especially if it is a unique themed track, for example a Halloween or Christmas or Olympics theme.


#17

I love this idea, it’s something I’ve longed for on AJ for ages. It seems such an obvious and simple thing to implement.


#18

Hello @SnailMusic, I was just curious if you could explain a bit further about why AJ is a more complex market than PhotoDune, and why Envato would hesitate to make similar changes at AJ? It seems to me like a reasonable strategy to reduce the number of authors and to be able to free up the valuable time of the reviewers so that they aren’t spending countless hours each week reviewing music that is either not good enough to be on the site, or which may be technically proficient but is still going to get zero sales because it is too unusual or outdated etc. Imagine the reviewers could instead be tasked with categorising and tagging the music instead of spending all their time rejecting poor submissions. That would mean the tagging system could be really targeted and controlled, and the search engine could be changed so that it no longer emphasises titles, and we could return to creatively-titled music.


#19

Deleting older tracks with no sales is something Authors should do by themselves, If it’s not a niche or seasonal track of course. I’m sure customers browse portfolios regurarly if they think that one Author could have something (more) suitable for a project. Having to browse trough 10 tracks which are mid/low quality could be really demotivational and lead them yet again to the top Authors list. Sadly, many Authors here think that quantity outrules quality.

Interesting concept, something Envato should consider implementing.


#20

@BlueSkyAudio Yeah! I completely agree with you.

When I say AJ is more complex, I mean 3 things:

  • This market brings them a lot more visitors & earnings than Photodune (3.40 Million visits on AudioJungle VS 960k visits on PhotoDune monthly if you check them on Similarweb.com)

  • The licensing is more complex (5 different licenses on Audiojungle VS 2 licenses on PhotoDune)

  • There are more registered authors (14,700 on Audiojungle VS 6,800 on PhotoDune)

You know, if you have 2 markets, you will test important changes on the little one first. Common sense :wink:


#21

Thanks @SnailMusic! You sure do know your stuff! Wow, it blows my mind to think that AJ gets over 3 million visits PER MONTH…!!! When I first read your message I was thinking PER YEAR, and even that seems very high… incredible isn’t it?

Although I think about 1 million of them are from me checking if I’ve had a sale in the last 5 minutes since the last time I checked… Do you think those 3.4 million visits include a lot of those kinds of activity, from authors and admin?