Adobe Stock: Adobe takes on Shutterstock and iStock with in-app stock library

Adobe Stock, revealed today, will not only allow creative users access to a stock content library of over 40 million images and videos, but it will do so from directly within the latest Creative Cloud releases of Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator, as well as Premiere Pro and After Effects.

Adobe Stock is based on the acquisition of stock content provider Fotolia, earlier this year. The move expands Adobe's involvement in the $3billion global stock content market and enhances its threat to microstock agencies like iStock and Shutterstock.


If you are a Creative Cloud member you can launch Adobe Stock directly within CC desktop software, add watermarked images to Creative Cloud Libraries, and then access and work with images across multiple desktop tools.

When you're ready to license the image for finished work, you can do it directly within the desktop software you are working in.

Creative Cloud’s CreativeSync technology means that all edits made on a watermarked image are automatically applied to the newly licensed image, thus saving hours of potential rework, claimed the company.

You can see how the process works in one of the new Creative Cloud appiications in our story about the new release of Photoshop CC 2015.

The service is also open to designers and marketers who are not Creative Cloud members. The standalone stock service is accessible at, allowing users to download, purchase and sell stock images, but Creative Cloud subscribers will receive preferential rates, said the company.

Pricing for Creative Cloud individual and team customers is £7.19 inc VAT for a single image and £23.99 per month for 10 images monthly. Purchasers of the latter will be allowed rollover of unused images for up to a year. A third plan is for 750 images monthly, costing £143.99 inc VAT per month.

"Since the acquisition of Fotalia we've been working really hard to launch this stock service," said Adobe senior solutions consultant for Creative Cloud, Iona Walters. "Adobe Stock is a key part of the Creative Cloud going forward and its future as a global vibrant marketplace. It's very much based on Fotalia but deeply integrated in our desktop applications."

Although not formally announced yet, the Adobe Stock service will also be available for video assets, according to Walters.

The move mirrors Avid, which plans to offer an expanded route for integrated purchasing of video and audio stock, as well as plug-ins and scores, through its Avid Marketplace within Media Composer and Pro Tools applications.

"Adobe plans to add new stock content categories in the coming months," said Walters. "We'll be leveraging Adobe's customer's unrivalled reach and experience across creative fields."

Adobe also aims to increase the quality of what's on offer in the royalty-free content market - the huge microstock market may have millions of images on offer, but quality isn't always high across the board.

"With our customers involved in both the buying and selling of stock, it will raise the bar of what to expect from the digital stock imagery business," Walters predicted.

However it's unclear at time of writing how the submission/review process for images for sale will differ from that currently enforced by Fotalia.  

Something akin to how Adobe has integrated sharing on Behance would tie in with the 'frictionless' message that the company has been peddling via its marketing communications of late. 

There is good news for such image sellers however, as Adobe also announced it will offer premium rates to photographers and designers contributing content to Adobe Stock.

"Adobe will compensate creatives with 33 percent of the final price of their image, after its purchase," said Walters. "This compares with other agencies which typically offer a rate of 25 percent."

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