Some thoughts from a 10+ years author

Hi,

my name is Thomas. I am an audiojungle exclusive author for over 10 years now. I have a rather small portfolio. I’ve never had that much sales (I missed the ukulele clap and coprporate hype) which is fine. I was always happy to sell some items from time to time. So I’ve never had the need to check out other platforms, until now…

I’ve recently got my first 2 hard rejects ever (I somehow understand why). For me as an exclusive author this is a great opportunity to check out other platforms. Here are some thoughts…

Features

Compared to others the features and the technical side of AJ for authors is kind of stuck in the mid 2000s. Just to mention the first things I’ve directly noticed on other platforms:

  • better sound quality (eg. 24Bit 48kHz)
  • better way for adding and presenting edits like 30sec, 60sec
  • automatic preview creation
  • modern author backend

I know that this is all known. But why does envato still ignore these things in 2021?

Some thoughts on Recjections

I kind of understand why aj does way more rejections than in the early days. But I don’t understand why they seem to prefer a specific kind of musical style.

Ok, to be fair, I don’t know if they really do. But it feels like that the internal AJ policy is to approve items that fit in that standard stock music scheme. This aligns with what some of the video creators I know say about AJ (“cheesy, standard, sounds like stock music”). IMO with such a policy envato misses out some real opportunities, especially in the long tail.

Future

I guess all this has been discussed many times before. But to me it feels like AJ is heading into a wrong direction and I think that authors should be aware of that. Instead of modernizing the platform and adding needed features, envato decided to go all in on promoting and selling underpriced items (sorry for that flame).

To be honest, I think that if envato will not invest in their platforms, authors and buyers will just go to other platforms. Easy as that.

To make things clear. This post is not meant to be a rant about envato. I still love their platform and I will keep selling my items here as an exclusive author. I only want that this is still true in 2030.

Ok, got longer than expected. Thanks for reading. I am looking forward to hear some of your opinions either on the feature and/or the rejection topic.

Thomas

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That was a very level, fair and accurate description of the state of Audio Jungle and I agree with every point you mentioned. I only hope that someone senior at Envato reads it and does something to address the issues you raised.

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Back in 2016 already it baffled me that how can a marketplace that makes millions out of professional web templates not update their own upload system to at least have a simple drag and drop UI that generates the previews automatically. To think that it hasn’t been updated at all in the past 5 years… Sheesh

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I do not agree with you. It’s okay that the voice of the preview prescribes the author himself. Interestingly, many do not bother and include previews in general mastering (!!!). And here you can hear how, when mastering in relation to the CORRECT frequency equalizer of the voice of the preview, the authors begin to prohibit high frequencies, volume, equalization (sometimes it is simply unacceptable)))

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I agree completely with everything you’ve written. I’ve been an author here for 11 years, and I’ve noticed the same things you mentioned. Sadly, I don’t believe Envato is interested in putting any more work into AJ, especially since Elements is currently their top project.

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I’m glad AJ doesn’t generate the previews automatically. Other sites put the watermark way too loud and it destroys the vibe of the entire track. Sometimes causing audible distortion in the process. I’d much rather spend the extra minute to make sure the watermark is leveled properly.

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When we have good AI mastering services or things like izotope Ozone 9 with mastering assistant, there is no reason an automated preview generator wouldn’t be able to handle it properly.

I never put any effort to the previews and still sales were ok, I think you are reading too much to the importance of the preview master in any case

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Well I mean Izotope mastering is good because their developers have spent a lot of time and effort perfecting it, they’re not just going to give the technology to Envato to use for free. Just so that us authors can save the 1 minute it takes to create the preview file. Even if you somehow manage to do 30 tracks per month that’s still only a half hour of extra time because of the previews. Doesn’t seem worth it to me.

Personally I don’t know preview quality correlates to sales or not but when I put time and effort on a track I want the preview to sound good and not be ruined by some automatic watermarking that creates audible ducking and distortion every time the watermark comes in. That’s just my take on it. I think there are much bigger issues that I would rather Envato focus their time on

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At least for me it was definitely the biggest issue that made me “quit”. When I had other places where I could release massive amount of tunes with a process that scaled and took me minutes, in comparison to AJ where a single tune release took me 5-10 minutes the answer was clear. The further one goes in any business, time becomes the only resource you are seriously lacking and the worst thing to put your time into is a clunky upload process. I mean it’s not just about the preview it’s the whole form

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Some good thoughts there. I think Envato is too big and too popular and had its core was set up way before some of its competitors were born. So now it must be a challenge to keep up and update everything without causing too many interruptions… Plus everything works (even if imperfectly or slowly), so why reinvent the bike. If there was to appear a competitor with the same content categories, just as big as a library and much more modern design etc, yes then Envato would have a bigger reason to upgrade and stay “competitive”. But now, I think they’re focused on making money.

Not on upgrading the cosmetics and functionality of the site, unless those improvements could lead to significantly bigger sales that would justify the upgrades cost in time, money, and resources.

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I absolutely agree. Watermarking my audio files is one of the problems, which I would search with a microscope. In my opinion the customers are reasonable enough to know, that they hear a preview file. They can judge the audio quality for every watermark-free part. I put a little effort and adust my watermark-volume automation curve depending on the track level. Watermarking files is not a rocket science. I my experience the reviewers do tolerate very low levels of the watermark. The AJ guide says:“It must be hearable and should not disctrating the customer.” As long as the reviewer can hear the watermark in a low level, they are satisfied.
Also I think, that it is always a good idea to spend a little time to protect my own work.

Regarding to the upload process: I do only know one other stock music platform. Their upload process is not author-friendly in my opinion. You need to upload every single little edit of a song separately, you need to do the description and pricing for every single part. That’s nonsense. I really like the way, how AJ handles the file upload process. If we have music with edits, the customer see on one view, what the song costs with all the edits. I also handled big audio zip files with the ftp and it worked well.

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That’s true. I do web development for a living, so from a business point of view I totally understand that. I can also imagine that it is very hard to update such a big site. I mean, they have one big monolithic system (a guess) that powers 7 market places.

But when I think of big sites in the history of the fast evolving web it was never a good idea to not keep up with technology. Just think of myspace, icq, …

I think now is a critical point. If they don’t update their tech stack in the near future it will be hard to keep up with competitors. But I think envato is aware of this fact. We just don’t know what their plan is. I’m sure they have one and maybe the whole market place thing is even not part of it. Who knows…

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I am poor, you can buy my items here: gballx's profile on AudioJungle

As an update this was a jovial response to a blogger who posted here prior to the post was removed. I am not that much into self-promotion!

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Simple answer. AI.