Why do some tracks sell thousands?

… when other great tracks only sell a few?

a] they have that extra 5% sheen that catches the ears of the buyers?

b] being in the right place at the right time?

c] getting enough initial sales that catapults the item into an arena where it gets more exposure?

Comments or please add to the list?

a) yes
b) yes
c) yes
d) because their tracks are awesome and can be used in a variety of different contexts


Only Envato knows for sure as they have the whole site analytics information but it is presumed that very big portion of clients do sales from the popular files view instead of search, from which it follows that after getting there, you have massive boost. Of course the quality has to be good enough, but some best sellers are nothing that special. You can also see that many of the artists who sell thousands of sales with a few tunes, can have 0-10 sales with many others in the same portfolio, with same quality and same production value. In my opinion this gives strength to the lottery prediction.


Yes, even some artist with a great best seller only sold little on the other tracks. Good quality doesn’t ensure good sales but at least clients will know you better from time to time.
If an author was lucky enough to get his items on featured items or weekly seller list, the chance of getting more sales will be highly increased. Hope I could get that too someday :wink:

Heh, so maybe bestsellers should be more expensive? It would motivate buyers to search for tracks with less sales. :wink:

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If low sales on individual tracks continue it’s hard to make any decent money and that also depends on how quickly a track can be uploaded?

But if the low sellers promote your big seller… great!

Only with the side effect that those who value their time more than the price discrepancy would still buy from PF and subsequently have less money left to buy additional items :wink:

PF IS the culprit here, and as long as popular items can stay on that page week after week, less and less new items can compete, and any incentive to go the high quality route is diminished.

Do note that higher sales from PF also boost regular search rankings. Thus, even if Envato staff tries to balance traffic between PF and search, the same items will still come out on top.

IMO, the function governing search exposure should account for “excessive sales and time on PF” in order to counter-balance this effect. As of now, it’s like having the Billboard Hot 100 on repeat, copy pasted from last month. Also, look at how many of the high sellers rename their items to hog as many as possible of the popular keywords that are sorted by sales even when “Best Match” is selected. Total gaming of search engine. Sad!


But… they didn’t worry about money…

I agree with everything else though.

The thing is that the dream of getting on PF is a great motivator and a potential life changer which is somewhat unique to AJ.

You’re right, I guess :slight_smile:

My somewhat hypothetical point was that these “typical PF buyers” would never turn to search anyway, but only buy from PF. With current prices they could maybe buy 4-5 tracks on a typical shopping spree, but when prices are higher they may decide to only get 1 or 2. Question is, how much higher prices could get before they start to care. Bottom line still, you can’t really force people (who have the mindset that “any decent track will do”) to do something that feels cumbersome to them (search, listen, and make an individual decision), when there’s a quicker alternative in front of them.

These customers will not care much about the “distribution of exposure between authors” - it’s up to the marketplace (Envato) to create a structure where these benefits are not distributed in an arbitrary (or worse, manipulable) way, or at least mitigate the feedback-loop effect of it all.

My own suggestions to downplay this sales-looping effect was posted here a while ago.

Well yeah, I agree about the “life changing” bit, but the problem is that it motivates a behaviour that really neither the authors, the buyers nor Envato stand up for. We can all see that it generally just leads to authors copy-pasting hit tracks and going nuts on titles and descriptions for pure SEO reasons.

Authors - ideally they want to be creative and “do their own thing”, and have a fair share of exposure
Buyers - they don’t want to sift through 1000’s of nearly-identical tracks
Envato - they want authors and buyers to be happy, and a high conversion rate for every approved item

Since nothing seems to be changing about the PF and search in the immediate future, and the rewards to reap are so high, even I, who have had most or all my sales coming from niche ventures, am starting to lean into this behaviour. Even if I don’t “have to”, I’m actually now in the plans to make a crap load of mainstream corporate tracks and throw them at the wall with all my SEO titling might to see if some of them may eventually stick. Sure, I’ve had a nice run over the years with some of my “random” tracks, kids music, sound packs and whatnot, I’ve sold about 300+ licences each month for a couple of years, but I fail to see how using that strategy I’ll ever get into the cream of having multiple tracks selling 20+ each per week, week after week, if I don’t hit that Popular Files page.

I’ve done some comparison with the authors who do, and the numbers are simply crushing. The “Top Authors” list says it all, really. These are authors who sell 700+ a month by means of having just a couple of bestsellers on PF. I’ve run through some portfolios and with few exceptions they upload at a much slower rate than I do. Assuming boldIy that I’ll be able to produce these kinds of tracks at a similar or higher level of quality within less than a year of commitment, I can probably churn out 10-20 tracks a month. I’ll have about 150 Corporate Inspirational Motivational Background tracks for sale after the first year, and even if just two or three of those hit high I’ll be in the green. Sad!

Envato, for whatever reason (I’m sure it’s complicated), is apparently rather stubborn to keep this “popularity convergence” infrastructure in place, and while I’ve always been advocating diversity and quality, I’ve come to feel it’s actually more exhausting (not to mention humiliating) to “fight the numbers” than to simply “face the music” and meet the top seller competition head on. Now, I don’t have any illusions, it won’t be an easy task for sure, but the haunting potential reward of having a bunch of tracks enjoying exposure completely out of proportion is simply stealing the show.

Basically, after three years and 500 items of going in the other direction, I’m now succumbing to a failed exposure system and forcing myself to be a part of the problem. However, If the situation reverses, so will I.

Meanwhile, see you in the PF :sunglasses:


One thing I’ve truly never understood about massive sellers is why buyers would want a track that has been used on literally THOUSANDS of other videos, some of which are presumably for products or services that compete with their own. If we were talking about contemporary pop hits or classics like the Beatles and others, I would totally get it; those songs have emotional connotations and connections with viewers that are on a societal level. But when it comes to largely anonymous stock music, I just cannot imagine the appeal or benefit of going with a track that thousands of others have used…


Well, these are not thousand big companies with famous brands, and almost certainly not for use in big ads. I would guess the main chunk of corporate music goes into internal or otherwise limited promo videos, mostly smaller businesses. Just a tapestry behind a voice over for a video with a few hundred viewers, it still needs to be a nice piece of music but hardly unique or exceptional in any way.

Surely, sometimes a track like this is featured in a worldwide TV spot or web campaign, but not to the extent that people really care to notice. The ones who do are more often the likes of VH template designers, who while they may know one track from another, they much rather pick from the top of the pile, often the same tracks as the competition, to stay on the safe side and save a lot of time.

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Otherwise I follow your frustration and logic, but I have just one question:

why are you exclusive?

For me the solution has been to go non-exclusive. It doesn’t really matter to me if I get to PF or not as in total my licence sales are currently on par with the best of the best on AJ. No reason to stick purely here if the system sucks.

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I actually like it here :slight_smile:

It may not come across in all my posts but I’m still a big fan of Envato and I think on the whole there’s no other stock site that comes close for me. This is such a nice place! Just a few kinks to iron out, that’s all :wink:

We used to have a non-exclusive account, and uploaded to a variety of sites, with varying degrees of success, but caved in due to the sheer administrative task of it all, plus the fact that it was very hard for us to keep up with different sites in terms of how search works, what genres are selling, what the competition is etc. Coupled with the lure of getting 70% and Analytics we eventually went all-in exclusive and actually haven’t looked back since.

Also, I believe that commitment creates insight, communication, and with time, a deeper and more meaningful relationship with the work methods and the people involved. There are not enough hours in a day for me to keep up with what’s going on everywhere and still produce enough relevant music. Simply uploading and spreading thin all over would make me feel a bit less connected, I guess, even if that sounds like a paradox…

Let’s see how this goes. I still have high hopes :sunglasses:


Because thousands of people like it, its value is pushed higher