Looking back on last year, Envato had a pretty big 2008 by any measure. We jumped from 4 sites to 13, a million monthly visitors to 5 million, and while our team began the year numbering 12, we ended it totalling 55 talented reviewers, editors, managers, developers, writers and support staff. With such a crazy year in the rearview mirror, it is with no small excitement that I can say that 2009 is going to make 2008 pale in comparison. And today I'm here to make a huge announcement for all the authors of our marketplaces, give beta invites for a major new site, and give sneak previews for some of our Envato plans!
New Marketplace Authoring Rates: 40 - 70%
Back when we first opened FlashDen, it was just a couple of people in a living room with a crazy dog we got from an animal shelter named Potato. But even then we had some pretty big plans, so we set out with some % commision rates that while reasonable, were not where we would have ideally liked them to be. We were committed to ensuring that despite this, selling with us would be profitable for authors, and indeed under our old rates we have seen authors making tens of thousands of dollars.
In the meantime, we marketed, built, expanded, upgraded, redesigned and grew. Two and a half years later, we've been keeping a close eye on the balance sheets and despite our sometimes breakneck speed of expansion, we've edged into the black.
If you've been watching the news in the last six months you know it's not exactly roses and sunshine out there with layoffs and economic woe abounding. And we know that many of our authors and community have been doing it tough. Putting these two things together, the team met late last year and decided to move up the schedule and push out our rate changes as the top order for 2009. And it's with great pleasure that I get to do so today!
As of February 15th, authors on all Envato Marketplaces (FlashDen, AudioJungle, ThemeForest, VideoHive) will be able to take home 40% of every sale right off the bat, with that rate climbing up to 70% as they sell more and more. Lest you think that the top rate of 70% is going to be really hard to reach, we in fact have a handful of authors who will be landing in the high 60's when we make the changeover!
Still the main benefit is for those authors just getting started on the sites who can now see their relative earnings jump by 60% (from the old 25% to the new 40%) which should be welcome news! And of course everyone in between those top guys and bottom guys will see not just a good 5-15% increase, but also will now have a much higher potential share to work towards.
Our new rates system has a few differences to the old one. We've changed the ladder to be on a logarithmic scale - so the gaps are longer as you get higher. We've also abandoned our old exclusive / non-exclusive opt-in process.
Having a unique portfolio (i.e. not selling the same items you are selling on another marketplace or site) will become the default setting. There will still be an option you can choose if you want to resell elsewhere, however it will result in a rate penalty. In our experience authors who sell on multiple marketplaces approach it as a purely business proposition, and are free to decide if it's more worthwhile to really throw their lot in with us, or to spread their work around. Our aim is to make a marketplace that rewards our unique authoring community and helps keep the library distinctive from other sites.
GraphicRiver Beta - Sell Your Photoshop Graphics, Vectors, Icons, Textures, Brushes, and Add-ons
In just a couple of weeks we're going to be opening a very exciting new digital goods marketplace called GraphicRiver where you'll be able to buy and sell:
Layered Photoshop PSDs
Backgrounds, graphics and abstract designs
Cartoons, illustrtions and designs
Individual and Sets of Icons
Both vector and raster icon sets, small and large
Textures, Brushes and Add-ons
Everything you need to take Photoshop and Illustrator to the next level
It's going to be an awesome marketplace and one we've been very excited about for a long time. As always the site will hook in with the other marketplaces, tapping into the hundred thousand odd members, our familiar interface, and the trusted brand we're working hard to build.
Grab a Beta Invite
Initially we're going to go into a private beta for anyone looking to get the jump on uploading items, getting on the popular items/authors page and generally getting started. If you'd like to join, just fill in the form below:
Important: You must have an account on the marketplaces already. If you don't already, just signup now, it only takes a minute. And of course make sure you remember your username/password as this is how you will access the beta program.
Awesome is Spreading
The other day I received one of DreamHost's bizarro newsletters, and discovered my favourite new phrase: Awesome is Spreading. That pretty much sums up Envato's philosophy when it comes to making sites and products. We've discovered that if we make stuff that we love, usually other people love it too! And in 2009, we have a lot of stuff coming that we're pretty sure you're going to love! Here's a few sneak peeks of just some of what we have planned ...
AppStorm - A Mac Apps Blog
We're launching a new blog / incubator project called AppStorm. David Appleyard of TheAppleBlog and DesignShack is going to be heading up the project. The site will profile and review awesome Mac apps as well as look at how you can get more out of your favourites, and if that's not enough it's also going to feature a new weekly Mac comic strip from the awesomely talented N.C. Winters. If all goes to plan we'll branch out into other platforms over time too! For news on the project you can follow David/AppStorm on Twitter here.
Big TUTS Plans
In a couple of weeks we'll be announcing our TUTS plans in a bit more depth, including an upgraded / improved Plus package that will be a lot better value for money, a special TUTS dashboard and a revised brand. But that's just the tip of the iceberg for TUTS as we are working on a plan for turning what is currently a tutorial network into a more fully fledged education platform. More updates on this soon!
I've been touting updates to FreelanceSwitch for a while and it's finally happening. We're upgrading the look 'n' feel of the site, adding more functionality to the job board, creating a freelancer directory and introducing many more improvements.
With all the recent growth in our marketplaces, we've decided they need a design upgrade! So late last year we asked three of my favourite designers - Aaron Lynch, Liam McKay and Kai Loon - to put together interface ideas and design thoughts. All three produced some brilliant looking redesign ideas and now I get to compile them all into some new kicks for the marketplaces!
Creattica Inspire & Sessions
Creattica Inspire (aka FaveUp v2) which I previewed late last year is almost ready to roll out, and you can expect to see it online in the next month or so. Creattica Sessions which I've also mentioned previously is on hold at the moment as we look at possibly merging the idea into TUTS (see above).
More Marketplace Improvements
Along with the rate change and redesign, we've got a lot of other marketplace improvements coming like flexible licensing, a new pricing system, new item types like Flex, email templates, audio source files, and much more!
We know that Envato is her authors, readers, members and community. So on behalf of the entire team here, thank you for being a part of our sites. We hope that everything you loved about 2008 will be back in force in 09 and that you'll join us for what promises to be a crazy new year.