To all Elements contributors


#42

Hi, just a suggestion: you should also tag other marketplaces besides AudioJungle, i.e. ThemeForest + GraphicRiver.

Elements affects them all, not only AudioJungle.

Thanks.


#43

Very true. Because the system is not designed to provide optimum results for content producers. It is designed to provide the best returns for marketplace operators, and the most unencumbered, affordable method for their customers to have access to digital assets. Access at low prices with as few restrictions as possible.

@EightBallAudio’s comments are spot on:

That succinctly sums up why Elements is not an author-friendly method of selling your work.

Where I take issue with all of this is how Elements is presented / sold to content producers as being beneficial for them. I believe that behind closed doors, honest conversations are taking place about how this method of licensing has the real potential to be detrimental to individual content producers in terms of the devaluation of their work.

And in spite of this, the public-facing comments from the company, on the rare occasion where you see any of them, are about how this subscription program is an enhancement to the content producer’s business.

Which brings us back, I suppose, to the reason @WormwoodMusic started this thread. To try to make sense of this, to gather information, and figure out what this means from a content producer’s perspective.


#44

And yet I still have the idea that all these subscriptions are only temporary. Most likely (when they gain customers and destroy competitors from the outside, the subscription will be much more expensive and with a limit). Just Envato decided to destroy the outsiders.
Envato most likely does not have a primary goal (subscription). I doubt (given that Envato is a large market and does not like to lose its money).

A subscription is just a bait in my opinion. The terms of this subscription (when they reach the number of buyers them need) will change. And it will be completely different.

I rarely make a mistake with conclusions.


#45

The flash sale ad text from the pink banner said that customers who sign up at $199 per year will continue to pay that amount.


#46

Over the past six months, there have been so many changes that have been corrected (this suggests that the market is working and evolving). I doubt that these changes will be forever.


#47

I am ready to share some numbers. Not the exact amount of money I make, but still…

Audiojungle:

August - 103 sales
September - 95 sales
October - 131 sales

  • Three months total = 329 sales.

    November - 158 sales
    December - 91 sales
    January - 95 sales

  • Three months total = 344 sales

    As you can see, my sales dropped a bit after I joined Elements in November. Right now I have 100 tracks in my Elements portfolio. To be honest I’m quite disappointed in what I am earning from this subscription model, 'cause it’s not enough to make living.

    But there’s a huge BUT: in three months with Audiojungle+Elements model I made 35% more money, than I made in three months before I joined The Dark Side. It’s as simple as that. I still think that three months are not enough to make any conclusions about whether it’s working or not, especially if you consider the fact that December and January are always slower in terms of sales amount. Maybe I’ll change my mind and decide to withdraw my items from Elements in a few months, but right know I don’t see any reason for me personally to leave Elements.

    One more fact: my sales started decreasing long before Elements was introduced. I had:

  • 2523 sales in 2016
  • 2016 sales in 2017
  • 1493 sales in 2018

    And there’s only one reason: rising competion. There were less than 5000 authors on Audiojungle when I started here 6 years ago. And for six years, every time, with the slightest change on market those authors were complaining. It’s like a virus: “OMG, my sales are decreasing!”, “Oh, no! Mine too! I got 15 sales last month and now I got only 9!!!”, “This new design is the end of stock music!!!”… and so on and so on. A lot of changes on Market were very questionable, but still a lot of authors were able to get to the top. Because they were working instead of complaining.

    I’ve never complained about any changes Envato have made, because first of all it’s business, not a charity organization. They don’t owe us anything! And I am pretty sure they know what’s better for their business. But don’t think I have nothing to complain about. Jeez, my track got featured for two days only and then Envato Marketing team just decided to change their minds and to delete it from featured items. I even got a badge… for two days… How cool is that?! :sunglasses: But that’s not a big deal, because they gave me an opportunity to make something I love and to make money with it. I grew up in a very poor family, so I know how tough it is, when you can’t even afford a pair of shoes and you have to wear clothes, that were your fathers and then you brothers. And I will never forget how tough it was to save money for almost a year to buy my first audio interface. So I’m endlessly grateful for the opportunity I was given.

    And guess what? It’s 2019 already and Envato is still one of the most popular stock markets in the world. Now there are almost 20000 authors. And yes, it has never been harder to sell anything, especially with hundreds of those 5$ Epic and Hip Hop items. But still it isn’t impossible to got a decent amount of sales. One of my last tracks got sold 38 times, even tho it was on Elements from the day it was accepted on Audiojungle. We all know that selling on Audiojungle is a lot like lottery. The thing is: just keep going and working harder. There were a lot of authors that became very successful: top author, best-selling items, first row of the popular files!! But success isn’t eternal. It’s a moment and it’s short. And it’s even shorter if you decide it’s gonna last forever. Constantly working and uploading new items is the key to success. I don’t mean to offend anyone, but for those who are blaming Envato or Elements or Search Engine or Illuminati for their sales drops: stop whining and keep grinding! Instead of complaining on this forum try to watch some tutorials to improve your composing/mixing skill or go write a new track. The only person who’s to blame in your failure is you. In the end: Envato is not the only platform where you can sell your music.

    I’ve always respected every opinion on this forum, but I’ve read a lot of very passive aggressive posts about authors that decided to use opportunity and to join Elements(not in this particular thread, but all over the forums). And this massive panic is a bit off limits. So I don’t care, what anyone thinks: so far I have no intention to withdraw my items from Elements, cause I’m making more money with it. I have a family to provide, so it’s absolutely ridiculous to read comments like: “booo, you joined Elements, shame on you!” Like little kids. Some of us have their own kids. Yes, we are a huge and friendly community, but don’t forget that at the same moment we all are competitors here and first of all it’s business. Do you want 10 sales for your item or do you want 5 sales each for you and your Audiojungle buddy? I think the answer is obvious.

    I apologize, if I sounded rough, but I had to prove my point.


  • #48

    Thanks @FortyTwoStudio for sharing your experience in Elements so far in such a honest, generous and straightforward way! It was really the whole point of this thread.

    I do share many of the insights you made (though definitely not all of them). If you are actually not only making up to the decrease in sales Elements caused on the markets (and I agree that is FAR from being the only factor to blame), but making even more revenue than before, then it’s nothing but reasonable that you stick to your decission. Personally I don’t think it’s a very wise move in the long run but that’s just my opinion, I don’t wanna convince anybody of anything, and I totally respect your choice. Plus, I’ve been here for little more than 3 years so I don’t have as much background and you do.

    The only thing I’d like to point out is that this %35 extra you are currently making, if they ever open the gates to all the authors this side of the wall, will probably dilute into crumbs and I’m not sure there will be a turning point then. Time will tell, I guess. Most of my monthly incomes are from freelance gigs, but a significant share does come from selling stock music so I really want it to be a business as sustainable as possible and I hardly doubt subscription models are. Anyway, sorry if I sounded appocalyptic or sermonizing, I just wanted you and the other Element’s authors to understand my perspective.

    Again, thanks A LOT for sharing so much here! It does bring light on the whole scenario.


    #49

    They owe everything to authors. That’s the basis of their business.


    #50

    I totally got your point. I’m convinced current situation with banners and agressive mail advertising is messing up Audiojungle marketplace. Elements shouldn’t interfere with this market in any way. It would be great if we have to choose which items we want to have on Jungle and which on Elements, with no opportunity to have the same items on both marketplaces. Different market - different portfolios. But we all know it’s not gonna happen.

    All want to say is: don’t fall into despair. It’s not the end of the world! Yes, it’s tougher than ever, but it’s still possible to make a decent and stable amount of money with Audiojungle. Remember that hard work pays off and have faith in what you’re doing! I know it’s hard to stay positive but it’s the only thing that helps me to grind through the whole bulls**t that’s happening on this market. :slight_smile:


    #51

    Well, all these points are crucial and would make one hell of a difference!!! But I guess is that blatant “targeted at different costumers” fiasco that is pissing many of us off. Of course, not with the invited authors, or at least in my case, but with the corporate sharks that pull the strings. Also I think that no man should be an island, and that unity makes strength, and thus I think it’s healthy to discuss and reflect together about certain issues.

    Anyway, thanks again for joining the discussion!


    #52

    It’s much easier to make complaints about other people duties. Try to start with yourself. You’re not special, in fact no one’s special. Steve Jobs once said: If you don’t like our product - you don’t buy it. Same here. Nobody’s forcing you to stay, there’s no contract, if you don’t like your job - you quit and find another job, the one that suits you better. We were given a tool that works pretty good, if you know how to use it. Try to be a bit grateful for what you have.

    We surely don’t have perfect work conditions and a lot could be improved, but overall mood on these forums are way beyond dissatisfied, and all of the arguments are way beyond constructive criticism(I think somebody said that already, but I don’t remember who and when): Envato’s bad, Elements is bad, other authors are bad, etc. Take a deep breath and relax, we all need to be a bit more objective than we are right now.


    #53

    I fail to see how stating that Envato owe its wealth and success to the work of authors, is a negative complaint that makes me ungrateful. But ok, fair enough, I’ll take that deep breath.


    #54

    No, but it is a two way relationship. We also owe the opportunity to sell music on Audio Jungle to Envato. If I’d set up my own website to sell my tracks I very much doubt I’d that I would have sold anything at all. Ultimately, if we don’t like the deal on offer, no one is forcing us to submit our tracks or keep them here for sale. I get frustrated by some of the decisions that are taken, and what sometimes feels like a contradiction between the stated values of the company and what actually happens, but it is totally their choice to make. Just as it is totally my choice whether to put my music up for sale here or not.


    #55

    I absolutely do not deny that. As a matter of fact, I did try to go my own route and built my own music store website a decade ago… it was an utter failure. I know very well what I owe to Envato.

    But, this doesn’t lessen in any way what Envato owe to authors, and that is everything. I’m not being ungrateful by saying this, this is merely the very nature of their business.

    As it is my choice, and others’, to try and point what needs to be attended to. With that, “if I’m not happy I’ll leave attitude”, we would never had broadcast licenses, we wouldn’t have PROs, broadcast usage would have been allowed on Elements,…

    Sorry, @WormwoodMusic, didn’t mean to derail the thread. I’ll take my leave.


    #56

    You’ve nothing to apologize for, @PurpleFog. I fully agree with what you say.

    I’m utterly grateful for the opportunity Envato gives us providing a super popular platform where we can offer our music and make a living as composers and I mostly see the glass half full, but this doesn’t play down the fact that is our workforce what keeps things rolling and that is something that is good we authors remember every now and then. Not a single labour right could have ever been achieved if every exploited worker would have thought “Well, it is what it is, I’m free to leave the coalmine if I’m not happy with the pennies I get paid”. Of course, one guy alone can do little, but as you say some things do change if we act together.

    Anyway, it’s me derailing the thread now… Sorry everyone.


    #57

    Hey @WormwoodMusic, stop derailing your thread! :joy:

    Wait, now I derailed the thread by telling you to stop derailing the thread.

    Sorry about that.


    #58

    Sensible and insightful post. All of it, but very much this part.


    #59

    Thank you @FortyTwoStudio for your insights and great thoughts. Very much appreciated!

    I do agree with most of your post. However I do think Envato owes the authors something very important. That something is transparency, communication and basic respectful business ethics.

    I agree that there can be some unnecessary passive aggressive complaining on the forum, myself included on a bad day. Something to keep in mind for all of us.

    In my opinion, there are several rock solid reasons to speak up together as a community. The forced relentless Elements advertising against exclusive market authors for example, is nothing to take lightly or casual. Don’t want to got there to much in this topic, but I think the increasing dissatisfaction with this is more than understandable.

    This ”if you are unhappy, just leave” mentality I strongly disagree with. Topics like affiliates who are not getting paid properly, dysfunctional broadcast licensing system, price dumping, gaming of the search engine, Audiojungle authors not getting credited at Elements videos, broadcast license use in Elements etc etc, are all very important topics that unfortunately needs pressure from the community to be dealt with. For some these recurring topics might be perceived as complaining and whining, but in 98% of the cases it is not, as far as I see it.

    In general I understand that critical voices can be uncomfortable and draining. It definitely is. Still, in the long run, critical voices are very important and are eventually contributing to necessary changes for the better and greater good. It has happened before and it will happen again. It’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it, somebody needs to dare to say what “everyone” is thinking.

    Of course it would be less need to speak up in the community if Envato hired more staff to specifically work with the increasingly long to do list. Hopefully this will happen.

    AudioJungle seems to be the loudest and most outspoken part of the Envato ecosystem, and I think that is something to be proud of. It for sure is important and of great value that we have authors who care and dare to speak up for things that deserves awareness.

    That said, there is nothing acceptable about being rude and disrespect those who do not have the same view or take the same choices as oneself.

    I’m happy to see constructive communication in this topic and hope we all can continue communicating in a civilised matter, and maybe most importantly accept that we don’t need to agree on everything. A big thanks to absolutely everyone who raises their voices :slight_smile:


    #60

    Forty Two Studios, Thanks for sharing hard data. Just curious about what your thoughts are on this: Suppose Envato opens the doors to 2000 more authors to join elements subscription model, and then 200,000 more “music elements” (tracks) are on that market.resulting in everyone chasing after bits and pieces of the $16.50 a month pie from each customer (who are granted unlimited downloads), What would you do next to counter that move, knowing that buyer behavior is potentially forever changed?

    Let me remind everyone that Napster created a culture of free music that lasted 15 years. There was no turning back, music simply was “free”. Now, however, Spotify and a couple of others have done a fairly decent job getting people to buy music again through what else? a monthly subscription model!

    Dealing production music to marketing agencies, film makers, ad agencies, post houses, tv show production companies and so on is a “business to business” relationship. This industry is slowly sliding down a very slippery slope by not protecting the synchronization license.

    Once that goes away and all that remains are scattered crumbs from the subscription pool of revenue, you have to admit that your monthly earnings will most likely decline to under $1000 a month in shared subscription revenue royalties. There will just be way too many people to pay and it is clear as day that the business buying public will be achieving massive cost savings (that they NEVER asked for imho). From my estimates, easily 90% savings is being granted with this subscription model.

    How do I come to that figure? Well just take Promosapien and his numbers. If I recall, he indicated that he was spending $2000 a year on sync licenses for his video editing business. Now he can spend $200 for the subscription. That’s 90% savings. That is $1800 no longer being spent. These are just simple facts!

    My point is that if all music producers continue to take every deal that is thrown at them and constantly justify it with “any money is better than no money” we will have a business where the sync fee is wiped out entirely, forever, producers will be collecting fractions of cents for each download, and buyer behavior and expectations will be changed forever, and it will be irreversible.

    The only thing that will be left, I predict, is fractions of cents per item downloaded, and PRO performance royalties on the back end which ultimately will have to be protected by governments, rate courts, and legislatures.

    In summary, my post to every music producer is this…the more you support and participate in subscription models, the more you are supporting the long, slow, and punishing revenue decline for your personal portfolio. I know, I know…it contradicts elements authors data who claim “I am making more money though”…for now you are…but just wait until hundreds or thousands of more producers pile into that model out of pure panic, fear, and desperation to just make anything. The market will crash the way the price of Bitcoin did in 2018.


    #61

    Thank you for participating in this discussion, @FortyTwoStudio.

    The number one obstacle between authors and more page views and/or sales is increased competition. No question.

    I also agree that working harder, longer, and smarter is an absolute necessity for those who wish to make producing music (or stock photos, stock video, etc.) a significant source of income.

    As someone who is a video producer and part-time AudioJungle contributor, I purchase far more music from AudioJungle than I sell, and have been doing so for 10 years.

    I am a sole-proprietor who has to hustle to make it in my chosen profession. I am not wealthy, but I love this work and find it rewarding, interesting, and challenging.

    I should be an Elements subscriber. I fit the profile perfectly. I’m a middle-tier media producer / editor who should be attracted to the subscription program’s cost saving benefits.

    The average I spend on stock music annually is actually closer to $3,000 (most, but not all, purchased here).

    I continue to purchase sync licenses from the AJ marketplace instead of joining Elements because it is my opinion that this is the most author-friendly method of buying music.

    Given my love of being able to make a living as a creative professional, I don’t wish to support a business model that, in my opinion, has the potential, long-term, to be harmful to creative professionals.

    I have been critical of Elements and the relentless marketing of it on the marketplace. I see this as detrimental to sync license sales. I am also fully aware that this is Envato’s enterprise, and they are free to do with it what they like.

    It benefits me in no way whatsoever to be vocal about my opposition to the program. I would be better off if I stayed off the forums and kept my opinions to myself.

    I don’t see this as spending all my time complaining and none of it working, though. I work plenty, trust me.

    I have a strong feeling that now is an important time to participate in these discussions and advocate for creative professionals that come up with the great music, video clips, WordPress themes, etc. that I rely on every day to make a living.

    I said this in another thread and realize I am repeating myself. Envato has created an amazing resource for creative professionals. There is no debating that fact. As creators of content that is sold here, we all want and need Envato to succeed. We would prefer that the price of that success not be the diminishing of our own businesses.