As per Alex King‘s comment when reviewing the Mac App Store policies for selling and Envato’s marketplace:
The more I think about it, the more insane I think it is to choose to do business with Envato given their current terms.
In order to put your products in their marketplace with a semi-reasonable revenue share you are choosing to completely subjugate your business to their whims.
You can’t experiment with your product pricing, you can’t try other marketplaces, you can’t sell direct to your customers… you can’t even choose your own software license!
He compares the two in light of revenue share, ability to sell the product on your own site, and the freedom to choose software licensing and price:
Now, you have to remember that the Mac App Store is functionally similar to Envato’s but also fundamentally different in a lot of ways. Some will look at it as comparing apples to apples in principle but apples to oranges when you dig in deeper.
I think the comparison is a fascinating look at what other organizations and marketplaces do in terms of their relationship between the developer and distributor. It’s worth looking into especially as people dig into the differences between the WordPress Foundation and Envato pragmatically and philosophically.
I personally have a paid iPhone app in the store and it’s been a fascinating first-hand look into that ecosystem so I could spend a bit of time sharing those details but I do not have any experience selling anything on ThemeForest and the Envato properties so it wouldn’t be completely fair since my empirical perspective would be obviously limited.
What are your thoughts on this? Is it fair to compare the two side-by-side or is it a good “nice to know” as we work through the kinks of licensing, fair business practices, and the WordPress economy as a whole? Or should we find a model here via Apple and their obvious financial success?
The fact is that developers have made their living (and then some) on both marketplaces and there’s opportunity for all. If we never heard of any success stories then I’d definitely have issue.