Also, I must admit that for different markets (AJ, VH, GR, etc) Elements may work in different ways. Like GR authors with lots of items benefit more than, lets say, me with much less items. Also some customers want support for items, this isn’t applicable for AJ. Also, with oversaturation of tracks customer begins to not see the difference between some tracks and really may choose the cheapest one and so jump to 5$ tracks or Elements.
Yep, I know…Foolish musicians are at it again allowing themselves to be exploited because they have no sense of business skills whatsoever. You and I are sitting here telling these musicians how foolish they are to charge less and ruin their business and livlihood, but they do it anyway out of absolute ignorance, fear, and paranoia.
To all musicians reading and listening to me please know that subscription models exist only to exploit your foolish ignorance and make the king money. You will not earn a respectable wage ever in subscription models. You can only profit by selling sync licenses one at a time. This is a fact
Any of us can charge .10 cents a track, but can you make a business out of that?
Are you even engaging in stock music to make an income?
Yes but if you really need food on the table charging next to nothing will not put food on the table and news flash: the guys that have agreed to the sub model are not poor. From my perspective, they are all doing just fine and live in Major, westernized cities where rents are high. Elements music authors are not residing in Congo or The mountains of Nepal with an 8 year old i mac making beats in a cave! Trying to scrape a few cents.
These are westernized, modernized folks agreeing to participate in music devaluation. So sad!
Apologies for the time it took us to get back to you, we have been looking deeper into this issue, potential solutions and their cost. We still have a way to go, but sharing what we have so far.
We went through the impact of the header on overall affiliate payouts as well as the impact on individual affiliates.
The impact of the header is in the range Collis mentioned, more precisely the payout impact per affiliate reaches up to 1.1%, averaging on 0.7%.
Connecting Market & Elements affiliate programs:
With an average impact of 0.7% on Market affiliates, we wanted to also assess the impact of connecting the programs on Elements affiliates, as many of you folks are. Given the Organic and Direct traffic Market receives, connecting the programs would significantly reduce revenue for Elements affiliates, as currently driving these existing customers to Elements counts as as new customers
(e.g. at the current state if on day 1 a user reached Market from organic traffic and on day 2 the same user reaches Elements from an affiliate link and purchases a subscription the affiliate would receive payment).
Looking at the specific traffic of our Elements affiliates, we can clearly see affiliates such as MorningLightMusic and many others benefiting from this setup and the upside is significantly higher than the 0.7% loss on Market. This is the reason we had in mind for keeping these programs disconnected, as Market has “touched” such a significant amount of users - the potential earning for Elements affiliates would be significantly hindered and with that the motivation to drive traffic to Elements.
Therefore we believe connecting these program will on one hand have little benefit for Market affiliates while significantly reducing Elements affiliate payouts.
So this indeed begs the question you have raised - why do we have the header on affiliate traffic at all if the impact is so low?
We are not fans on “noise”, and given as affiliate traffic rarely click the header or converts to Elements customers, we would like to be smarter in how we use the header. As Collis mentioned, we are currently working on a first stage of a smarter header, allowing us to feature different messages, or non at all, on various locations on the site.
On a broader sense,
The affiliate payouts on Markets are overall on an increasing trend. Although Jan has been slightly slower due to, among other reasons, Chinese NY, most affiliates, such as WaveToys, had a stronger than last Dec and are having a strong beginning to Feb.
Another point you have raised -
“I guess Envato’s promotion and author’s sales rely heavily on affiliate work”.
Envato actually spends millions per year on advertising both Market and Elements, with a marketing spend growing double digit percentages each quarter. Visitors who have not purchased and we “retarget” on paid search, display and video and drive back to Market still lead to an affiliate payout as we payout based on first click attribution.
We also urge you to contact us with any specific concern or issues you experience. As we cannot share details about individual partner earnings per click, Year Over Year payouts etc. on a public thread, we believe a private correspondence might help in clarifying specific trend and questions.
On a personal note,
We are constantly working with our community and you folks in mind.
This isn’t an empty statement and we are taking this thread and concerns seriously, they impact what we focus on and our internal discussions. When issues come up with affiliate payouts, we are always adamant to correct them in a manner that is fair. From a tracking issue to events not firing for some affiliates, we paid out corrections of 10s of thousands of dollars during 2018, unprovoked, to dozens of affiliates.
That is to say - treating our community fair is always our priority.
@roeyrafaelthank you very much for giving us detailed and proper answer, really appreciate it. It will take a few times for me to read this and completely understand what you are saying, but we wanted such comprehensive answer, so again, thank you.
MorningLightMusic was experimenting with driving traffic directly to his Elements portfolio for the past 2-3 months on his videos, so this is the reason why you see the benefit of the current system in his case. If I’m not mistaken, this is not the case anymore, so these stats will change dramatically since he chose to switch back to linking directly to his AudioJungle items now. Am I right, @MorningLightMusic?
So, as @Andrew_G said, he will now have the same concern as the rest of us.
Allow me to clarify,
We have no “good news” on the ~0.7% that Market only affiliates are losing.
My main point there is that we dont want to take on “quick solutions” that will overall decrease Envato’s affiliate earnings.
Given the percentage (not to say that any earnings lost is to be scuffed upon, clearly not) we believe developer time would be better spent creating the “smarter header”.
Another option we are still considering, which I likely should have raised earlier, is calculating affiliate lost revenue each year and paying it back at the end of the year.
For example we would calculate 2018’s lost revenue and pay it out on Q1 2019.
At least until the “smart header” issue is resolved.
That would likely be for a minimal cost lost, in order to avoid making payment adjustments for several cents.
It would be great to hear your, and the rest of the community’s, thoughts on this as an interim solution.
@roeyrafael , thanks for quick response, I’m glad we have you here!
I’ve been a very active member of the community here for years and my OCD brain forces me to analyze and absorb all the details and info I’ve come across So I’m gonna share general feedback I get from authors and affiliates in hope you can see the things from a perspective of real humans who earn their living here. This will help Envato staff to realise why there is so much frustration caused by the banners here, even if your stats don’t show a lot of traffic being lost. I apologize in advance, because this will be a very long post, but I promise it’s worth it. So please take a few minutes to read it, I’ve been thinking a lot and want to explain problems from both author and affiliate perspectives, and offer soultions that could solve all of it. So, @roeyrafael, @collis, @emile_b , please understand I love Envato very much and want it to succeed, so I don’t mean to offend anybody, I have respect for all of you and I hope we could make this place even better.
REGULAR (NON-AFFILIATE) AUTHOR PERSPECTIVE:
I want to express the concerns I saw from a global Envato community of authors, it’s important to also see these problems from the regular author perspective.
No one wants these Elements banners anywhere on the market, that is a fact and can easily be proved.
The problem is not in the percentages of traffic being lost, the problem is that authors find advertising of a cheaper competitive product over their own items on market highly unethical and unfair. They don’t really care about the stats at all, the problem is they see this as disrespectful and they feel used, especially the ones that are not a part of Elements. There is no potential benefit from this for them, they can only lose the sale(or referral cut) as a result and gain absolutely nothing in return. They lose motivation to continue creating new items for Envato.
If you create a poll to see how much authors agree to advertising Elements over markets, I bet you will get almost 100% result for the option “No, I don’t agree”. In fact, it would be nice if we actually create such poll, so Envato can see how much negativity, anger and frustration they caused on the marketplace lately with banners. That can’t be good for business long-term, and I’m afraid it’s going in the wrong direction on many levels.
As a result, people feel very frustrated and unhappy here, and you can really feel the tension and anger growing rapidly for the past few months. This used to be a happy place where everyone wanted to sell their items and were recommending their friends to join (this is actually how I ended up here), and the general vibe was awesome. Now, countless threads have been opened about the same issue - elements advertising on market. People feel betrayed by Envato, and more and more authors go non-exclusive and move to competitor markets. Most of them see Elements and their aggressive advertising as the main reason for a bad situation, and I’m afraid 0,7% stats won’t change this, because people want to be treated fairly and be respected on a place where they work. Banners over their items are causing a completely opposite feeling.
Question for Envato: (Let’s forget about the stats, because they won’t change the negative perception banners.) Is it really worth keeping banners who, judging by your stats don’t bring you any significant traffic, yet they create so much negativity and anger amongst authors who work for you?
Bad news spread fast, and don’t forget this market grow to this point because authors were happy to work here and the community vibe was great. (There are other great markets offering amazing stock products for simmilar prices, but everyone will say they prefer to work for Envato because the community is awesome here, and this is still a community-driven marketplace where authors and Envato staff should communicate back and forth. Now we are going in the direction where Envato is acting as a cold billion dollar company and makes the decisions without considering what community thinks about moves that directly have an impact on us. I really want it to go back to the golden times where staff and authors were much closer and working together to grow this place.)
So, as a conclusion, generally, I still believe completely removing banners everywhere is the best decision you can make not just for authors, but also for the long-term health of your entire business. By doing this, you also solve the affiliate problems mentioned in this thread in a very simple and fast way.
Most affiliates primarily promote their own products on Envato Market. In real-life, customers come to our item page, and often continue browsing through Envato and buy the item that isn’t ours. Sometimes we sell our own products via our links, and sometimes the buyer buys something completely different. We still get the referral cut in that case, so that’s fine, if the buyer finds something better than my item, at least I earn for introducing him to Envato. Perfectly fine by me.
But now, Envato is bombarding with banners everywhere and it’s hard to compete with “UNLIMITED DOWNLOADS FOR 16.50$” deal versus one of my songs for 20$. Especially since Elements is full of great music by the some of the most talented producers on Envato. The thing is, a lot of times our customers needs just a simple generic track that will play at very low volume on a video for a few seconds, so our music quality isn’t always a big factor in videos and thousands of other songs will do just as good.
Elements deal clearly wins if customer is looking for that type of track. (or need a lot of tracks like that) He also gets a couple of images, stock videos and nice photoshop effects while he’s there, and spends less money than for just one of my tracks, awesome deal!
From affiliate perspective, that would be fine if I got a referral cut for that customer. OK, he didn’t buy my song, but he subscribed to Elements and I got 20 or even 120$ for bringing him there, that’s still perfectly fine by me! But that’s not the case now. I lost a sale & referral cut from market, and Elements got a new customer and 198$, both Envato and elements authors gain money because of my promotion work. So, I act like a charity advertising agency when that happens. This is unacceptable, especially because I started to invest thousands of dollars in growing affiliate channels for Envato, and I hope to see results coming in the next months. I’m talking to much, let’s cut to the chase:
Let’s say markets are connected now, and when someone comes to market via our affiliate link, that affiliate link is tracked/transfered further when the customer goes to Elements via banner. 1 tracking ID is generated for market, and the second tracking ID is generated automatically when customer clicks on Elements banner from market. Or maybe links can be updated from our impact market id number to our Impact Elements id number. if we provide you with both id numbers maybe click on the banner can be coded to open elements page automatically with our elements id. In the case where click comes from affiliate link with our market id. Both are part of the same Impact account, so maybe there’s a chance for this to work. In this case, 2 separate tracking IDs are created under the same affiliate profile, 1 for market and the second when customer clicks on elements banner. This way, you can count the same customer as a new purchase, both for market and Elements. So, elements affiliates will not be affected at all. They can even get 2 referral cuts like now, one for purchase on AudioJungle, and the other one for Elements subscriber, all from the same customer. And affiliates who want to drive traffic to AudioJungle which ends up in Elements are fairly treated. Ultimate win. So, in this situation markets are not actually connected, but they act as they are because of such tracking setup. And this way, we avoid the all the negative sides of connecting markets you’ve mentioned before.
So, if we can set this up, even in the case as you described, where the customer already organically came to AudioJungle first day, and the next day comes to Elements via affiliate links and the case where customer comes via our to audiojungle and clicks the banner, that changes nothing even though markets are now connected. It can only be better.
I don’t know how complicated this is technically to set up, but you must admit this sounds as a nice idea and should be seriously considered. Your tech team has solved much bigger problems so far, so I believe in you
OK, I’m done with talking now. And I will offer the ultimate solution to all problems now, authors and affiliates will love you:
1. Connect markets the way as I described above This is the ultimate solutions for all affiliate problems.
But what about authors who don’t want banners on their items and they are not affiliates? 2.Allow us to opt-out from showing any banners on our profiles and item pages. Example, in settings of our AJ profiles give us option “I don’t want advertising banners to show on my profile and item pages”.You owe this fairness and basic business etchics to people who work hard to produce new items and have choosen you as a platform to sell them, without traffic being redirected elsewhere and stolen, you know this is the only fair and ethical solution. It keeps regular authors happy and motivated to continue to work for you.
But we want to continue advertise Elements on the Markets, what if everyone opts-out? 3. A LOT of people will choose to not opt-out because potential benefits
If you set affiliate tracking the way I suggested, affiliates will not opt-out from banners because they now have a choice to sell their item on the market, and if not they have a chance to get amazing 120$ referral cut from Elements. If they have their portfolio on Elements, maybe they will even put affiliate banners in the descriptions!
Also, people who have items or even their entire portfolio on Elements and have more success there than on Market, (and some are reporting this) will choose to leave banners in order to get more customers to Elements, since the overall revenue is shared between all authors there.
Also, I’m equally motivated to promote both markets and elements because I have different targeted traffic for both type of customers. If markets are connected, I will still promote Elements to people interested in subscription models. The fact that I get paid from banners anyway will not cause a lack of motivation to also do direct elements promotions.
Thank you for reading this, and I hope I didn’t say something stupid.
@roeyrafael and @emile_b , I would like to hear your honest thoughts on the practical solutions of tracking I suggested. Since I’m not a programmer, I’m not aware of the complexity of such solutions, I’m just throwing ideas here. Is this something that has the potential to be implemented by your programmers/coders?
Quite some weeks have passed now, do you have any thoughts about Wavetoys suggestions above? I think he brings some very good practical solutions to the table for a fair and ethical business approach to all of this.
I think it’s safe to say that the majority of authors and also too many customers see the current banner advertising as misleading and confusing.
In the long run alienating both authors and customers is not the greatest and most sustainable idea, I think you agree with this as well. The conditions for being an exclusive market author seems very weak to me and a lot of fellow authors at the moment, and that’s something that should not be swept under the carpet.
I hope you are working on a solution for all of this and thank you for updating us!
First of all thank you for taking the time to share with us feedback/opinions/comments (@MojoSoundtrack, @WaveToys and all other comments here).
I thought I’d jump in here, since I started to oversee all paid partnerships here at Envato a couple of months ago (and working on some initiatives raised earlier).
@WaveToys, many of your suggestions are being taken into consideration, and will be assessed in detail, but as you know, this is time consuming which requires extensive and thorough testing.
We are currently working on a number of these, which need further testing to generate actionable results.They are not only complex from the programming side, they also have many interested stakeholders to be considered. Also, we continue searching for the best solutions for our community and having this feedback is super valuable for us.
We would like to thank all the community members who have contributed with suggestions and feedback, it’s all been noted.
Lastly, we’ll be closing this thread by Friday 3rd May, so feel free to share any more thoughts by then. I/we are always contactable via email should we wish to discuss anything further.
Hi @alexgarbrechtenvato thank you very much for jumping in here and updating us! Much appreciated, if not totally satisfying answer, it is a lot better than silence in my opinion. It’s great to hear that you are working on possible solutions for this, probably quite a challenging task for you to jump right into all of this.
Wavetoys starting raising this issue on emails the summer of 2018, so it’s soon a year now where no practical actions have been taken as far as I am aware of.
Personally I still think Wavetoys latest post above stands solid and also still have some questions unanswered like this one:
The affiliate perspective is very important, but if we look under the tip of the iceberg, these banners are very toxic/disrespectful for exclusive market authors in general.
I am only a non exclusive author at this point, so I guess my right to be offended by these banners are minimised, if not removed completely.
As I am spreading my content around different marketplaces and sites around the world, I have never seen anything similar as the Elements banner. The closest thing is marketplaces where all authors are on board with subscription or the marketplaces are advertising much higher priced/more controlled subscription models, where all authors working there, are welcome to join if they want to.
Which needless to say is a completely different scenarios then exclusive authors “paying for the advertisement” to an overly underpriced competing market most of them cannot be a part of.
In my opinion, another scenario of a possible solution is simply to convert all exclusive market authors to non exclusive authors, BUT let them keep the commission they have earned up. Then Envato would be ethical free to advertise Envato Elements on every authors avatar if they want… And authors would be free to earn money elsewhere as well, the same freedom as Envato currently have.
Again, it’s good news that you are working on a solution for this, but as mentioned by @MorningLightMusic earlier in this thread, the burden should be on Envato, not on the authors as it is now, still. Until solutions are ready that all parts can somewhat live with, these banners should be removed.
I think my voice have played its part in this topic, and maybe some of the more serious affiliate authors wants to chime in before the topic closes at 3rd of May.
Why do you have to delete this topic? I don’t understand. It’s not spammy at all, post limit per topic is not reached and we didn’t find any solution so far.
We’ve all been very polite and extremely patient so far. So, I really don’t see any reason to close this topic. You didn’t even consider to temporarily remove elements banners and see how that goes. You do all sorts of testing on the website all the time, but the banner is always rock solid at the top. Why don’t you at least remove it while you are working on some kind of solution, as you say you are currently doing?
Even last month when there was a sale, Elements banner was still there switching place with the sale banner every time you refresh the page. That’s how important this elements banner is to you. You can’t even remove it for one week to fully promote a huge Envato Market March sale.
Yet despite all that, you dare to claim that you don’t get any significant traffic from this and it’s not important at all to you. And you refuse to remove it at the same time, even if all your authors and affiliates beg you to do this. Even when you have a huge sale on market you leave elements banners at the top. You are unbelievable.
I don’t believe at all that you are working on a solution or considering our ideas and suggestions. We are not stupid.
I’m done with this nonsense, close the stupid topic. It’s useless.
I would also like a more clarifying answer why the topic is closing? There is to this day, absolutely no solutions really presented to the community. Emailing is fine, but it’s not really suitable to gather the general authors opinion and thoughts about this.
What will happen if a new topic appears for the exact same unsolved topic? Closed down as well?
We appreciate and value all these valid points raised throughout this thread.
As mentioned, there are many stakeholders to consider here before any long term initiatives are implemented.
We’ll go away now and take on board the sentiments shared and incorporate them into longer term initiatives, which are currently being planned out around ‘smarter’ marketing, banner placements and other areas.