Envato to Shut Down Envato Studio on Short Notice, Jilting Longtime Service Providers 

Envato, the Australia-based digital assets company, announced it is shutting down Envato Studio, its community freelance platform, and Twenty20, a stock photo website. The company continues to tighten its belt and focus on newer products after it laid off 100 of its 700 employees, citing global conflicts and inflation.

“We were spread too thin across all of these products we’d established,” Envato CEO Hichame Assi told told The Australian Financial Review.

“They’re all creative products, but some are older with legacy platforms, whereas some are newer and going really well. We wanted to sharpen focus on our future products that are going really well.”

The company’s most recent update indicated Envato is shifting to focus on Envato MarketEnvato Elements, and Placeit, a tool for creating branding and marketing assets, while phasing out other products. This week the Envato community found out that these legacy platforms include Envato Studio and Twenty20.

Many Envato Studio service providers, who have completed more than 230,000 jobs since it launched in 2014, were surprised to learn that Envato is giving them under two months notice before it shutters the service on August 21. Providers have built their profiles with positive reviews for their work on creative projects – everything from logo design to WordPress customization.

“It is not just bad news – it is a shocking news for me and to all who consider Envato Studio as a main earning source,” express customization provider WonderArt said.

“How I run my family now, it will take a long time to restart my marketplace earning again. You know how hard is to approve the item now and sales are not guaranteed. I am very much disappointed by this decision.”

Some saw the writing on the wall after Envato stopped investing in the platform and new clients and orders were dwindling. Others, for whom Envato Studio was their main source of income, are shocked and scrambling to find a new way to support themselves on short notice.

“Many of us rely on the steady income from express services to make a living, so really in my case such an abrupt and inconsiderate closure affects me greatly and hits me very hard, especially as I have two young children and a family to continue to support, plus bills that will keep coming in,” user touringxx said.

“With thousands of jobs done on my part (1733+) and 100% buyer satisfaction, I have put a lot of effort and patience into building and maintaining that reputation over the years, to now see it simply disappear as if it were worthless.”

After investing so many years building their profiles and serving clients, multiple longtime Envato Studio service providers begged for more time before closing the platform.

“This is not a good and fair decision in the middle of an economic crisis, we have spent our time here for 8-9 years and more, you should give more time before closing the platform,” one user Nofomsok said. “It’s just not fair.”

With under two months notice on the platform shutting down, many participants in the discussion said they felt the transition was too abrupt. They suggested six months to prepare for the shift, as well as creating a static, read-only version of the platform where clients can browse through service providers and send them messages through their profiles.

“It is incredible how Envato doesn’t at least comment on this matter, we are waiting to hear from them is this the treatment we deserve for so many hardworking years?” @jassdesigngroup said.

“We are real people with families, not just numbers.”

Envato eventually did respond, indicating they are listening to feedback but did not mention an extension of the timeline for shutting down the platform.

“We are in the process of creating a solution that will hopefully help with your Studio reviews,” an Envato representative commented.

These additional considerations may be too late for those who had all their eggs in one basket.

“It’s a business decision that is up to you,” hibiscustechno commented. “But this transition is passing a big message to the creative members in ThemeForest, ‘Hey guys, Today we burned all together, You authors have the time to save yourselves by selling your products using your own website rather than giving $$ commission to a platform and keep the clients with you.’”

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6 responses to “Envato to Shut Down Envato Studio on Short Notice, Jilting Longtime Service Providers ”

  1. I feel like there is a huge missed oppurtunity here. When WPMUdev discontinued their ProSites multisite plugin, they partnered with WP Ultimo and created a path for many of their users. With so many freelance marketplaces online their is a real oppurtunity for companies in this space to gain users and help fix a sour situation. Envato dropped the ball here when they could have just secured a nice partnership with a competitor.

  2. Makes sense – I don’t think the platform really took off.

    Hard to compete against Upwork, which has more people, more jobs, and a better pricing structure.

    Studio charges 30%, which is incredibly high. And a price point that can’t be justified, IMHO.

  3. Been with them since they were FlashDen, folks said the same thing then, when they pivoted away from SWFs and Flash. Envato rocks! Always has. But they were focusing on areas imo away from the core of what they do. They have always evolved and I hope they stick around, one of the real Good guys imo online.

  4. I’m a provider on Envato Studio. The top logo provider actually nicknamed zlaws.

    I’ve been part of Envato Studio from the very start and for a reason too (it was new and had low competition with freelancers). The fact that I referred all my clients coming direct through envato studio helped me rank even higher. I dedidcated all my focus on envato studio platform to give an 6 star review service.

    I’m grateful for Envato Studio for the opportunity they presented and for meeting so many repeat clients which I exchange occasional emails just to say hi.

    I succeeded and earned quite a lot at the start. I noticed the decline from when the affiliate program was removed, which is like 2/3 years ago maybe.

    It’s difficult to compete with other platforms, that’s true but Envato Studio gave a different sense of freelancing compared to other platforms. It felt more curated and personal. Much nicer to buy and sell services on.

    But, life goes on. I hope I am not intruding too much with my comment, but since Envato Studio was a big part of my income I am hoping that this post can reach any buyer who felt the same as I did.

    I will happily keep on assisting repeat clients and new ones through my new service on Spotlancer: https://www.spotlancer.com/author/chriszd

    Thank you and thank you for the journey Envato Studio. Spotlancer here I come. (wish me luck)

  5. Instead of shutting down completely, why can’t they consider selling this arm of the business to interested parties who can then rebrand and grow it?

    That way freelancers will continue sourcing new jobs through the platform. And new owners will breathe new life into the platform and explore new opportunities.

    Surely selling would be more profitable than just closing shop.

    • How would selling off a failing part of the business be a better move than accepting its not working and focusing back on the core of what you do. They have been around for years and started in a garage, readup on Flashden/Envato pretty impressive bootstrap company.

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