Part 1: Envato Market Contributor Royalties
Part 2: Envato Market Contributor Website & Apps
This huge collection of sites had its humble beginnings in 2006. Sadly, evidence of that can still be seen.
As the sites have grown and come under the Envato Market umbrella, it often feels like a bunch of different sites stitched loosely together. Which it is. Rather than make a totally cohesive experience, it often feels a little dated and confusing as a contributor (and as a buyer).
While many efforts are made on buyer-facing improvements, the interface for contributors is not an easy one.
It will be different for each media type you are submitting. In addition, the steps to submit media types are far more involved than any other stock agency. While this could be seen as a good barrier for entry to prevent a flood of material, it certainly makes life painful when uploading.
There is no official app for contributors, but some ingenious contributors have built their own apps which you can choose to use if you wish.
Watch The Envato Elements Video
Part 3: Envato Market Contributor Earnings Experience
My mixture of stock photos, vectors, sound effects and videos worked well on Envato Market since 2011. I was in the top 200 photo contributors (now somewhere around the 300 mark I believe). But then two big changes came along.
- In 2017 they made a huge change and deleted around 80% of their entire stock photo catalogue. This of course meant a lot of contributors with nothing left in their portfolios. Mine shrunk to a little over 350 photos instead of around 5,000. Additionally, they removed size variations and left only one size. This meant those who were used to paying $1 for a tiny web image now were faced with perhaps a $5 fee for the same image. These changes irritated not only contributors, but buyers as well. Many left, and I doubt will ever return.
- Envato Elements. While they promised Elements would not eat into the Market earnings, inevitably it has and they continue to advertise heavily for Elements on the Market itself, further shifting buyers across. Photo sales dropped dramatically.
2019 has seen my earnings on Envato Market drop to around 50% of 2018.
But there’s more to the story than just that alarming figure. Envato Elements certainly is growing. In fact, if you combine Elements and Market together, Envato has accounted for one of my highest earning agencies for the last few years.
One of the keys to this is being included in the Envato Elements ‘Contributor Bonus’ payments each month. Around September 2019, a change was made so that you will only get this bonus (and a smaller share of it than we used to) if you have a certain number of new assets uploaded in a 3 month period.
This wouldn’t be such an issue, except it is getting harder and harder to get new content accepted. If this keeps up, I expect my earnings to drop considerably.
Envato Market Contributor Review Highlights
Part 4: Envato Elements Contributor Recommendations
If you’re a WordPress theme or plugin author or perhaps even an audio track producer, you may want to consider exclusivity. Not only do they sell a lot of this kind of content, but as you sell more you will reduce your author fee, meaning a bigger slice of the pie for you. This really doesn’t make sense though for all media types. Photographers for instance would not want to be exclusive there.
Stock video producers will do well at Envato, especially with the author driven pricing meaning you can get what you want per sale.
If it wasn’t for their insanely strict and inconsistent reviewing, I would recommend them more highly. But this fact alone makes me a little hesitant, as even seasoned stock contributors will randomly struggle to get anything accepted.
But other than that, if you are ok with the Envato Elements subscription model, then my recommendation is to be a contributor with Envato. The earnings should make up for any annoyances along the way.