I am not sponsored by Envato Elements, but this page does include affiliate links which pay me a commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase (which is greatly appreciated!)
Envato Elements is a huge library of digital content at a surprisingly reasonable cost. Subscribers can use unlimited content from the library with commercial licenses. There are a couple things to watch out for though, so I’ll cover everything you need to know to benefit from the service. Digital content creators, freelancers, designers or anyone promoting themselves or a business should check them out. Or, you can just watch my Youtube video about it:
What You Get with Envato Elements
The best thing about Envato Elements is the enormous amount of content available to subscribers. As of this writing, there are over 57 million assets in the library. They are created by individual content creators, but are thoroughly vetted for quality. Trust me, quality is not an issue with Envato.
There are over 2,000,000 stock videos, searchable every way you can imagine. There are 70,000 of them with transparent alpha channels and 129,000 that loop. High resolution, high quality videos you can use in your creations.
There are 4,000,000 stock photos. By comparison, Pixabay has about 1.4 million and EVERYONE uses them. There’s a cool feature that allows you to search by color to match the color scheme you’re going for.
There are over 100,000 music tracks and over half a million sound effects. These are great, but I’m going to give you the good and the bad about Envato. There are things you should know if you’re going to use Envato’s music on Youtube. Yes, you can do it. But read on to make sure you don’t run into licensing problems.
There are 44,000 customizable video templates you can use to quickly add style, effects and more to your videos. These include transition effects, animated text effects, logo effects, video intros and more. When I started using Envato’s video templates (with Premiere Pro) on my YouTube videos, their quality shot through the roof.
The graphic templates category has more than I’ll be able to cover here. Background images, textures, icons and so much more. The most useful may be their social media templates. Thousands of customizable templates for social media posts that you (or your clients) can use to promote anything you are trying to promote. Each individual asset is usually an entire pack of themed elements.
I know you can get fonts all over the internet, but Envato gives you 15,000 good ones that are easy to download and install. Think about it, you may never have to use the same font twice!
There are presentation templates for Powerpoint, Google Slides and Keynote. There are WordPress and tons of other web design templates and plug-ins. A lot of this stuff is over my head, but you could easily design a great looking website for you or your clients.
Envato Elements has a large library of “3D objects.” I got really excited about this because I thought they were OBJ or FBX files that could be used in 3D programs like Blender or Cinema 4D. But, they’re not. You can turn the 3D objects 360 degrees to get whatever angle you want and then you take a snapshot of it to download as a PNG file. Not a true 3D file, but useful for 2D design work and kitbashing.
But, my favorite category of assets on Envato Elements is definitely….
ADD-ONS! There is an entire category of add-ons for programs like Photoshop, Illustrator and Lightroom. These weren’t even on my radar when I started using the service but have quickly become the most valuable thing I use from Envato. You can use thousands of Photoshop actions to make amazing effects for images in seconds. This was worth the money for me!
Envato Elements Pricing
Envato Elements is a subscription service and the amount of content you can use while subscribing is unlimited. Individual plans are currently $33/month if you pay monthly. An annual plan brings this down to $16.50/month or about $200/year.
You can cancel anytime but once you stop subscribing, you are no longer licensed to use Envato downloads for NEW projects. Anything you created while you were a subscriber maintains its license.
Envato Elements Free Version
Envato Elements unfortunately does not have a free trial version. They do have a free account you can create. With the free account, Envato makes twelve assets a month available to download. No, you don’t get to pick twelve things from Envato each month. That would be awesome! The twelve free Envato Elements assets are selected by Envato each month.
It might be worth trying, but this is nothing like having the enormous selection of content at your disposal with an actual subscription.
So What’s the Catch?
Since I’m not sponsored, I can give it to you straight. There are a lot of great things about Envato Elements but there are two things I don’t love.
Licensing Individual Projects
Envato Elements issues licenses for downloaded assets on a per-project basis. So when you download something, you are required to register it with a project. It is then licensed only for that project. If you want to use it for another project, you are supposed to go back and register it again.
Now, there’s a reason for this and sort of an upside. Envato’s assets are created by third party creators. Envato allocates payments to creators based on how many projects they are used it. So by registering for a new project, you tell Envato which creator should get paid for you using the asset in this project. I’m all about fairly paying creators and so is Envato.
The other upside of this is you get a project-specific license you can download. So, if you’re using assets on a client’s project, you can provide them with the license so they don’t get in trouble down the road. Also, if you choose to stop subscribing, this is how Envato knows which projects were authorized to have assets used in them. It’s in your best interest to register each project, but it’s an extra step.
I wish I didn’t have to do this every time, but I think it keeps the price down and I like that. Also, fonts and add-ons are exceptions to this. You download them and register them one time and you can use them as much as you want (as long as you’re still a subscriber).
Envato Elements Music on Youtube
My second complaint about Envato Elements is a problem with using some of their music on Youtube. Since music on Envato is created by third parties, it is copyrighted. As a subscriber, you have a bona fide license to use the music, including on Youtube.
The problem is Youtube doesn’t know this. Much of the music (not all) on Envato Elements is registered with Content ID. Content ID tracks and scans Youtube uploads to identify registered copyright music. It can then flag a video (this is not a copyright strike) and notify the copyright holder. This can cause a hold to be placed on monetization which is very very bad.
There is an entire page on Envato Elements explaining how to handle this. You upload a copy of your music license to Youtube to clear the red flag. But, the damage could already be done to your video’s performance. I’m not going to sugar coat this. I make videos for Youtube and I don’t like it. I’ve used Envato music on several other platforms without a problem but I’m not using it on Youtube.
Envato does tell you which music tracks are registered and it seems like a majority of them are. Still, if you’re looking for music specifically for Youtube, Epidemic Sound might be the way to go. They own all their music rights and link to your Youtube account to automatically tell Youtube you are allowed to use their music.
Is Envato Elements Worth It?
I use Envato Elements every single day as a creator. It is 100% worth it for me. If you’re not sure, give it a try for a month. I bet you’ll see the value in it. If you create for a living it is a no-brainer solid investment.
Please consider using the affiliate links in this article to check out Envato Elements. I get a small commission if you make a purchase with them but it costs you nothing. Thank you and stay creative!