Building on an acquisition, Adobe Stock launches to shake up the $3 billion stock image market


Early in 2015, Adobe acquired New York based Fotolia, a marketplace for stock content. Started by Thibaud Elziere, Oleg Tscheltzoff and Patrick Chassany in November 2005, Fotolia operated in 23 countries and has websites in 14 languages. Financial details weren't disclosed but Adobe announced its intent to purchase Fotolia in December 2014 and the acquisition was confirmed a month later. Fotolia still exists independently but building over it, Adobe recently launched Adobe Stock. The integration is complete and this provides all current and future Creative Cloud members with the ability to access and purchase images and videos.

Adobe Stock is a curated collection of 40 million-and-growing high-quality images and is deeply integrated into the latest releases of Photoshop CC, InDesign CC, Illustrator CC, Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC. Adobe claims the stock image market to be at $3 billion and according to the giant, an estimated 85% of creatives who buy stock content use Adobe tools and more than 90% of stock content sellers use Adobe software in the preparation of their photos and images. This is the biggest advantage for Adobe as the entire loop for a creative professional closes within the software.

On the flip side, the pricing is on the higher side. Pricing for Creative Cloud individual and team customers is $9.99 for a single image; $29.99 per month for 10 images monthly (with rollover of unused images); and $199 per month for 750 images monthly. Talking about the move at a press conference in Bangalore, Umang Bedi, MD of South Asia said, "We'll take in that feedback. But this is the first step. We're likely to arrive at a more reasonable price point over time." He also talked about how the INR 499/month subscription for the Creative Cloud has been a huge success. The entire software was priced at around INR 60,000 which was very high for most people and resulted in rampant piracy. The move to subscription has turned out on the positive side and Adobe is now married to the concept.

For Adobe Stock, competition is steep. ShutterStock went IPO in 2012 when it had 750k active users and over 21 million downloads every quarter. istockphoto and gettyimages are two more large players in the sector. Closer to home, ImagesBazaar is a stock image company that started in 2006 and focuses on Indian images. Editorial companies, enterprises, creative individuals are the major users for such services. With more businesses coming online and news consumption also moving online, the need for creatives (images, video, etc.) will only rise. Services with larger data bases and good categorization will have an upper hand in getting more users.

Website: Adobe Stock