Hi @Stockwaves, that’s an interesting idea in regards to allowing authors to have a say in which items they boost in search. With the number of authors we have I think it could potentially make the search even more congested, but if done properly it may definitely be worth considering.
I also understand and agree with much of what you’re saying here. I can sympathize with the fact that many authors did not have the privilege of coming here years ago to build a portfolio full of items that racked up sales much higher than in today’s much more competitive jungle. I also give a -1 for bringing back all “dinosaur items” with high sales and making it completely impossible for new items to compete in popular searches, that’s not what I’m advocating. What I am advocating is the proper balance of allowing new authors to compete, and also letting buyer wanted, proven tracks to have their proper place in search. What exactly that balance is only Envato can ultimately decide. I’d simply like to play a little devil’s advocate to question if that balance is being properly struck as is.
For example, a couple of years ago the search engine heavily favored items from established authors, and it was overly so. You would search a term and get the same top selling tracks for practically every term you searched, even if the search term wasn’t in the title. This certainly was an imbalance that Envato rightly took the initiative to counter over the past 2 years, over time working in changes that would give newer items much higher search preferences. My question now is, is it possible that the pendulum has swung a little too far in the other direction? Are we now out of balance in too heavily favoring newer items more than tracks with a more proven track record? Again, that’s really Envato’s decision! I personally tend to think it’s a little out of balance, but that isn’t for me to decide in the end, just to bring into the discussion here
I disagree with this actually. I’m always pretty impressed with the tracks that hit the top sellers list, and can understand why they are there. Generally they are catchy, have great hooks and are quite “popular” sounding, which is what most buyers are actually looking for. Yes, there is no doubt that visibility on the top sellers list plays a role in allowing items to remain there, but it doesn’t mean they haven’t earned their place there in the first place.
It doesn’t happen quite that easily. I’ve seen plenty of tracks hit the top sellers one week and fall off the next. I’ve had it happen a couple of times myself. I’ve also seen tracks on the top sellers list that were obvious to me that they either had a large amount of licenses purchased by a single buyer in the previous week, or they bought themselves on the list like you mentioned. Whenever this happens buyers simply continue to vote with their dollars and the track ends up falling off the list. So although being on the top sellers list most definitely increases sales, it is not a guarantee of success if the track simply isn’t selling.
Personally, I think this aspect of the search engine (giving new tracks a chance) is an area where Envato got it right. All that is required to bring up the old Giants in the results is simply hitting search-by-sales. In terms of balanced visibility for new and old top sellers, I think it’s reasonably fair - in that area at least. The title issue needs to be fixed right now.
… as are tons of songs that do not have the visibility provided by the top seller list. If we just go by being catchy and popular sounding, all those other people have also earned those spots but aren’t getting there. No one gets to a top seller list unless they sell well, and those sales are often not associated with “better quality”, which is the point I was addressing there. Who sells and who doesn’t can be directly related to the type of search engine situation being addressed by this thread and the kind of game playing such a search engine causes, as well as things I previously mentioned. You might sell better than others because you’re better at playing the search engine game and that definitely is not related to quality.
Instead of an upfront top seller list, it would be in Envato’s best long term interest to focus on allowing the full scope of quality to shine and provide buyers with a fast way to find exactly what they want instead of settling for something from a quick pick list based on what other people purchased. The only way to accomplish this is to develop a top notch search engine and remove everything that detours buyers away from it. A top seller list doesn’t serve any other purpose than to direct someone to buy from that list, thereby discouraging use of the search engine. It also encourages some composers to emulate what’s on the list, which causes borderline plagiarism and loss of creativity.
Note: I’m not complaining about a personal lack of sales as I don’t have any songs posted at AJ yet. I’m honestly looking to help improve this place.
Ideally, it should not be a popular list or sorting option by popular or most downloaded at all (although I myself should not be against that ), but just the good search engine based on tags and keywords, that’s all what buyer needs. That way the authors will stop copy from each other and will produce more creative and better music. And then I think more different and unique music will come to the marketplace. I do sometimes audio post production and I sometimes search for music in different places, and what I like in some libraries is the ability to find tracks totally by keywords and tags, I personally don’t need to know what is popular on this site, because I need music for my project and if what I found fits it, then I will buy it.
Yes but you are not the average user of AudioJungle The engine works best for the majority of buyers. I bet the majority doesn’t search for “uplifting distorted guitar u2 like delay.” They more likely go like “Hmm, I need beautiful music for my video, let’s try beautiful”
At the same time, it’s nice to see a refreshing results page with meaningful and relevant titles, if not to simply differentiate each piece of music from another. I’m certain this would make for a more memorable and interesting buyer / user experience. There’s nothing wrong with single-word searches, but this is where tags should shine.
Actually, what I’m more concerned about at the moment is this: I don’t think we can have more than 1 “performing” track using the same root word (eg Corporate). I’ve seen several cases where authors who have had a hit and released a new, equally competent version under a different, but synonymous title (eg Epic and The Epic). Either the new one gradually tapers out and never makes enough sales, or it overtakes the old one, which begins to fall.
Additionally - look at the popular files list (try a few weeks ago as there are lots of Christmas tracks now) - do you see any “The” “An” “A” prefixes? No, and chances are most that were there before were tracks of which the title has been changed. I’ve seen some rare cases where a track using a “The” prefix makes it to the bottom of the list, but quickly fades. I’ve seen it so many times that I can rule coincidence and chance out of the equation.
Does this mean the apparent ‘synonym’ “The Corporate” is less favourable than “Corporate”? And does this mean if we have a top-selling track called “Corporate”, we don’t stand any chance with an equally good “Corporation”?
If Envato honestly wants us to continue using these generic titles, I can work with that - just let us make the most of the situation because I can’t help but feel we’re being limited by the one-word titles we can use.
I feel I want to contribute to this thread, as I am partly to “blame” for this, (but so are we all… Read on:)
My track ‘Inspiring’ ( http://audiojungle.net/item/inspiring/9325839 ) has been doing quite well on AJ, so well that it almost started a new trend (!) When I wrote the track there were only a handful of tracks titled ‘Inspiring’ or some derivative of that. However, with the success of this track, there are now more tracks titled ‘Inspiring’, ‘Inspiration’, Inspirational’, etc. than anything else on AJ. It is just madness.
But you see, this is a natural result when something is successful; you get thousands of “me too’s” and masterly skillful copycats who see something successful and try to replicate it to achieve the same success. Next thing you know, you have all these great composers and authors fighting for the same tiny little space, naming all of their tracks ‘Inspiring’ because they might end up on top of the result page, next to the other track. All of this is understandable because it has always been like this, and it always will be… with everything.
I agree, yes, the search engine should not focus on the track’s title but not necessarily on the tags either. All it takes is for just someone to figure out which combination of tags work best, and then the next thing you know those tags will end up on every single track! I guarantee it.
So if you think about it, we are all to blame for this. You don’t need to name your track ‘Inspiring’. In fact, if all of us would have just continued naming our tracks what we wanted, we would not be in this ridiculous situation. I mean, I imagine it is even quite pointless for someone to search for ‘Inspiring’ anymore because they would just get bombarded with results.
I am not saying that it is just our fault, we are all slaves to an unoptimized search engine. However, having the search engine go on tags would not work either because we well end up at the same problem very soon (as I mentioned earlier).
So, here is what I suggest:
Have a rule that a track name should be just as original as a username. Meaning, if you try to title your track ‘Inspiring’ you will not be able to because that name is ‘Already Taken’.
Allow only one, or maybe two, derivative of a word in the tags. So you cannot pack the tracks with ‘inspiring’ and ‘inspirational’ and ‘inspired’, etc.
Give us more ways to describe and elaborate on the musical content and incorporate that in the search engine. For example:
-major or minor key
-tempo feel and not just BPM (straight, swingy, waltz, offbeat, etc)
-instruments (acoustic, electronic, organic or synthetic)
-music genre (jazz, EDM, rock, blues, etc)
-musical feel (intimate, open, epic, minimalist, etc.)
-mood (funny, comical, sad, somber, ambient, aggressive, underscore, etc.)
And most importantly, scrap the word based search engine! The search should be conducted by the user filling out a sheet of check boxes (with the description tags I mentioned above) until it has narrowed it down to only a handful of result that match his/hers search criteria.
I know that when I need music for something, I have know idea what word(s) to search for! But I always know what I am looking for. So a deduction process would definitely help me get what I want faster than any combination of words. Besides, just because I think of a few words does not mean that the author thought of the same words so I might miss his/her track, a track that would have been perfect.
These are my ideas and thoughts. Thanks for reading!
‘Quite well’ in an understatement given the feats you’ve accomplished with that track alone. It’s done incredibly well and will likely become the top selling item on AJ in the near future. Be proud!
Fact is, it likely this title issue (specifically the overuse of terms such as “inspiring”) was already hapenning - one might say that Soundaround was the first to start the trend in the first place anyway. Ultimately though, we’re all responsible…
What we should be focusing on now, is resolving that issue. I like your checkbox idea.
The only chance to get a featured item or be author of the week is to have zero items in your portfolio with the following words: inspire, inspiring, inspiration, epic, trailer, happy,ukulele, ukelele, corporate, etc…
I agree with this up to a point. Certainly the generic single word titles ‘Inspiration’, ‘Corporate’ and ‘Epic’, plus their close variations, should be excluded by a pop up when entering the title, but a wholesale blocking of duplicate names wouldn’t work well.
For example, I have an orchestral version of ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’, there’s nothing else I can call it and the buyer would likely be searching for that exact track name and wouldn’t mind if there were many of the same name, as it’s a recognisable song.
Your track is great and the success of it definitely helped to extrapolate the situation. I would be careful to say you actually started this, though. “Inspiration” (and its synonyms) has always been a popular search term and I believe many other tracks were successful partly because the title contained that word. In ye olden days we had PZ’s “In the moment of inspiration” dominating this and all other keywords and tags included in the item description, and some time before your track hit the skies there was an “Inspiration” by Soundaround that garnered considerable success, followers and copycats.
Well, the idea is to compete for a popular keyword. It’s not necessarily so that people are trying to “steal your customers” by placing their items next to yours specifically, I think actually they would all be better off sales wise if your item was renamed to something else
This is already happening. The point with switching from title to tags is to allow different titles. No one is saying there will be less of the same kinds of music with less of the same tags, at least that’s not something I believe.
Hmmm So you’re saying, 300,000 unique titles? And come first come serve to the top 10 keywords? When do we start?
Well it’s a little bit late for that, don’t you think? That would work if we had like 10 items on AJ, by 5 authors. I think you underestimate the frustration people would feel if they could not compete with a keyword title just because they weren’t first. Also, with all due respect to your super awesome track, if you had named it “Boobedidoo” I highly doubt anyone would have noticed.
The search engine is synonym based, so having synonyms of a keyword in the tags is quite simply just a bad idea. As of now you will get equal search result positions for having “inspiration” vs. "inspiration, inspirations, inspired… " etc. You can try this for yourself by searching for these synonyms, you will get very similar results
There is currently no limitation here. You can already type these keywords into your tags or description, if you think people will search for them. The problem is not for an author to describe an item, it is to have the buyer describe it, using more than one word. I would be careful though to assume many buyers even know what “minor” and “major” means. But yeah, “comical”, “jazz”, that would work, and I for one would applaud suggesting a greater number of keywords to the buyer prior to search. As of now they’re basically stuck with their own imagination plus the most common tags.
This is how tag based search already works. Click on the “tags” facet to the left and narrow down your search using a set of keywords.
Scrapping the free text search has been loosely discussed earlier but would be a major change for the platform and is not likely to happen anytime soon. Remember, the search functionality is not streamlined just for AJ but made to work for all other markets as well.
The solution you propose reminds me of how some other RF audio sites work. It’s hard to tell how AJ buyers would react if they had to click their way through a maze of options for every new search. I do agree buyers could be encouraged more to narrow down their search instead of using just the one keyword. But again, that’s what the faceted search was for, and it really already works that way already - when it’s used correctly. It’s just that many buyers (in the corporate/motivational category, i might add) seem happy to just go the easy route - keyword, first result, buy.[quote=“PR_MusicProductions, post:194, topic:20065”]
I know that when I need music for something, I have know idea what word(s) to search for! But I always know what I am looking for.
IMO an affordable music supervision service would work nicely as a complement to search.[quote=“PR_MusicProductions, post:194, topic:20065”]
a deduction process would definitely help me get what I want faster than any combination of words. Besides, just because I think of a few words does not mean that the author thought of the same words so I might miss his/her track, a track that would have been perfect.
Yeah, this is the crux of it. Authors want to sell, buyers want to buy. “The invisible hand” only works to a certain extent, and when it so obviously pays off to name your track based on the likely buyer text input, there is no getting around authors scrambling to get a good position.
Oh, and one more thing… in the “checkbox” solution, wouldn’t you agree there should be an “inspiration” checkbox? Don’t you think that would be a nice box to tick?
Yes, I am not at all saying I started anything. I am not that ignorant and arrogant to I think I invented the wheel However, you must agree that there has been a boom in the amount of tracks that has ‘Inspiring’ or a derivative of that word in their title over the last 12 months.
Moreover, I want to emphasize that I am equally at fault because I also have more than one track in my portfolio with a derivative of ‘Inspiring’ in its title.
So the problem is that we have over saturated ‘Inspiration’ on AJ so much that even if you name your track ‘Inspiring’ and have all the tags of ‘Inspiring’, you still would not end up on top of the search results.
Totally agree. I meant for generic one-word adjective names, such as ‘Happy’, ‘Inspiring’, ‘Sad’, etc. We should all be able to be a little more creative than that.
If I want to name a track ‘The Final Frontier’ and there is another track with that name, that would be OK. This is obviously something that would have to be up to a reviewer and not an automated process.
You are right. We could all wish we had done things differently. But it might not be too late to implement on new tracks.
Well, why not? If you look at the music industry outside of AJ, artists actually go great lengths to try to be original. How many unique titles does not exists in the music industry?
For instance, when Lady Gaga released ‘Bad Romance’ did other artists all of a sudden began naming all their tracks ‘Bad Romance’ too? No. So why would not that work on AJ?
The problem is that on AJ we title the tracks with adjectives, not actual creative titles.
I would like to see Lady Gaga or Madonna releasing an album called ‘Inspirational’ and have tracks like ‘Corporate Inspiration’ or ‘Positive and Happy’ in it
Aha! The root of the problem. You cannot search for music the same way you search for graphics or videos. That is a pretty lazy approach by Envato I have to say. The search engine on AJ has to be completely unique and designed to handle music only.
Yes, so the obvious solution to me is to limit how the authors can title their tracks. Adjectives should be very restricted in the titles and a thorough inspection of the tags should be done in the approval process.
In fact, this is how it is done on other major music libraries such as Extreme Music, Premium Beat, etc.
Yes, that is a fine idea.
Well, “inspiration” is a very subjective and vague term to describe a music piece. Some people get inspiration from heavy metal, while others would get it from classical music… So no, I would not put it in the checkbox.
Not saying that my ideas are the only solution to the problem, just my personal thoughts. Take what you want from it and spin off from there. Maybe we will arrive at a good solution in the end by taking bits and pieces from people’s ideas if we all chip in.
First of all, none of users can have exclusivity on using generic words. (like anyone in the real world).
Not to mention, that naming a track “Happy” etc. can still be an artistic intention (for example, Pharell - “Happy”, Leona Lewis - “Happy”… let’s count world-famous one-word titles…).
If a person wants to call a happy track “Happy” he or she is free to do so. Except - for naming a funeral march “Happy”, but I doubt someone would do that.
As for the general idea of this topic - I do support it, yet I understand (putting myself on staff’s place) that it’s really hard
to successfully solve this issue in a short time.
I think that this situation has been created in order that staff had more influence on the popularity of certain tracks and perhaps even as a result - more influence on Envato income. Do not forget that the authors of the new tracks are receive only 50% of sales income, so the constant updating of the top songs in the interests of Audiojungle management. But i can be wrong:)