In a move I didn’t see coming, Adobe has entered the Stock Photography market with their latest product, Adobe Stock. They now compete with both Getty and Shutterstock. Now their acquisition of Fotolia, a relatively small micro stock company, makes sense. With Adobe Stock, Adobe is letting consumers buy and sell creative content (right now limited to images and graphics with support for audio and video coming soon) directly through the Creative Cloud interface, which links with any CC program currently accessing Libraries.


Adobe gave their reasoning for entering this market as such: The market for stock images is massive, coming in at over $3 billion. Adobe research says 85% of creatives who buy stock, use Adobe tools for that stock, and over 90% of all stock available has been created using Adobe software. Adobe users are the single largest users and contributors of stock content, so Adobe felt it was time to actually enter that space. From a business perspective, it’s a good move and does sort of make sense when you look at it from their perspective. If their software is being used this much in the process, why not get involved.

But to just “jump in” the stock photo market wouldn’t really make sense. Adobe wanted to differentiate themselves, and what they’re doing with stock really is quite fascinating.  So Adobe’s stock library, to start with, includes 40 million photos, illustrations and graphics covering basically every subject.


Searching Adobe Stock

Image Library in Adobe Stock

Selecting in Adobe Stock


What makes it special is the deep integration in the desktop apps. You can launch Adobe Stock directly from any app with Libraries in it (Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects, etc). Adobe says it will “radically simplify buying and working with stock content.” Once you find an image you like, you can grab that watermarked, low res file and work with it.


Placing Adobe Stock


Once you’re ready to license the work, you can do it directly from the software you’re currently working in. If you started with the lower resolution watermarked image, any edits you make to the watermarked image are automatically applied to the final hi-res image that was licensed. This lets you work with a stock image with no risk, and it won’t make you repeat work. It’s basically the process video editors will use to get through edits faster and with smaller files. It’s actually really brilliant.


Licencing Directly from Photoshop


Adobe Stock is also available as a standalone service, as course. But it won’t work as well since the integration isn’t there and it doesn’t really differentiate the service from larger, more established brands like Getty or Shutterstock.

So here is how Adobe’s payment system works for stock:

A La Carte:

  • $9.99 per image

Subscription plans:

  • 10 images/month $49.99 a month, if you’re a CC member you get this for $29.99 at infinitum (40% off)
  • 750 images/month at $199.99 a month

Contributors make 33% of the sale, which Adobe says is higher than the industry standard which is about 25%.

We’ll keep a close eye on Adobe Stock and how the industry accepts this much easier to use system. Adobe Stock might not yet be better (yet), but it’s a heck of a lot smarter and better integrated than its peers.