WEDDING SEASON SALE! 30% Off Training Systems!

Your content will be up shortly. Please allow up to 5 seconds
Gear & Apps

Adobe Stock | Adobe Enters The Stock Image Market – Bizarre Or Brilliant?

By Kishore Sawh on June 20th 2015


In a move some will no doubt find bizarre, along with Adobe’s major application update this week, they have revealed they are joining the stock image market. Granted they acquired Fotolia, but clearly a company like Adobe is going to be going for the throat of the major players in the business, and that means Shutterstock. And Getty. The multi-billion dollar market is lead by these two, and it’s understandable why anyone would want a piece, but why Adobe?

Well, if we can understand and accept the fact that Adobe dominates the post processing market for imagery and video, which it does, and that many stock images are edited with Adobe products, it begins to make a little more sense. Adobe actually feels the overwhelming majority of stock images have and continue to use Adobe software in their creation, so intrinsically, stock image creators and buyers use Adobe products – clearly the idea is to capitalize on that. So, what’s on tap?


Being Adobe, they weren’t going to release this type of news and service with just a handful of images, or even several hundred thousand of them. Currently, the number of photos and graphics of all kinds within Adobe Stock’s catalog is a whopping 40 million. (Given the news lately with Corbis charging heavy fees for images in the public domain, it begs the question how much of Adobe’s library is the same).

While the number of images is impressive, and the name will certainly get attention, it’s the proposed pipeline/workflow that really seems to be what will get the attention of creatives. You can open up Adobe Stock right from the Adobe applications you already use all day (any with libraries – though Adobe Stock is available as a standalone). The idea is that once you find an image to your liking, you just take that image (which will be a watermarked and low resolution file) and do whatever editing you want with it. A try before you buy, sort of deal.




If the image is enough to your liking that you want to own or license it, you should be able to do that from within the application you have worked on it in. So if you’re in Photoshop, you can open up Adobe Stock, find an image, take the low-res watermarked version, manipulate it with layers and the whole lot, and license it. All the changes you made to the low res image? They’ll be carried over automatically to the licensed high res version. This, this is the clincher, because Adobe knows you’ll want to edit the photo, and lets you try it out, risk free with no limitation, and understands that you won’t want to duplicate effort on the licensed image.

Granted this benefit doesn’t seem to apply should you access Adobe Stock outside of any of the apps. But now that you see the clever workflow, here’s what to expect in terms of cost:

If you are a contributor, you’ll make 33% per sale, which is a significant leg up on the competitors. If you’re purchasing content however, you can either choose a subscription plan or a la carte. Buying an image a la carte will set you back $9.99, but the subscription plans are at a steep discount of that, especially if you’re already a Creative Cloud customer.

  • 10 images per month at $49.99 ($5 an image) or $29.99 ($2.99 an image) for CC members.
  • 750 images per month for $199.99 ($0.27 an image)

Stock photography is a big business with major players and Adobe needed to differentiate, and I think, excitingly, it has.

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

Please or register to post a comment.

  1. Jay Trotter

    Like the work flow concept. I want tp learn more about this.

    | |
  2. J. Dennis Thomas

    33% is a leg up on competitors? While I don’t get as much as I used I make more than 1/3 from all three of of agencies.

    | |
  3. Doug Davis

    I like the idea of Adobe being the go to for everything. But I don’t use stock images for anything anyway. What do you guys use stock images for? Besides using clouds to replace your blown out background. Let me know!

    | |
    • Stephen Jennings

      Stock isn’t meant for photographers. It’s meant for graphic designers, editors and marketers. Cover photos for articles, or if you go to a news site and see a photo in an article that says “ghetty / AP” etc .. that’s stock. Or like in the sample photos, using it for marketing purposes, or mockup purposes.

      | |
  4. Ralph Hightower

    Welcome to the Borg (cloud). You will be assimilated!

    | |
  5. Timothy Going

    Wow. If it works smoothly I could see this being a game changer. And 33% isn’t too shabby for content producers.

    | |
  6. Jesper Ek

    Hm.. they tried it before…

    | |
    • John Cavan

      I don’t recall seeing with that kind of app integration though. I don’t think Getty is going to be happy about this, especially given their less than favorable press in recent memory.

      | |
    • Jesper Ek

      Granted, the seamless integration and the manipulation function are new and smart.

      | |
  7. Geoffrey Van Meirvenne

    I think it is a great workflow improvement for graphic designers. They will quickly gain some sales as it can a big time reduction for heavy consumers of stock images and time is money!

    | |
  8. Trevor Dayley

    I think it makes a ton of sense for Adobe to add this to their product line up. Having that seamless integration for graphic designers will be very handy. It will take some time for it to catch on but I have a feeling this will be another great source of income for Adobe.

    | |