Analysis Of Adobe Stock Portfolios

Posted on 8/21/2020 by Robert Kneschke | Printable Version | Comments (1)

In June German photographer Robert Kneschke did an indepth analysis of the portfolios on the Fotolia website. Adobe displays all the images it represents on both the Adobe Stock and Fotolia websites, but less information is displayed on Adobe. The following information should be an accurate picture of what can be found on Adobe Stock as well as Fotolia.

In total, data from over 462,000 providers with a total of over 137 million files in their portfolios were analyzed. Anyone who has at least one file online counts as a provider.

First, let's look at the question of how big most portfolios are. For this purpose, I have divided the portfolios into groups of powers of ten.

Over 60% of all active portfolios only have ten or fewer images. At the other end of the spectrum, there is only one portfolio with more than a million images, and that from Africa Studio with over 1.3 million images. After all, 64 providers still manage to handle portfolios with more than a hundred thousand files.

Unfortunately, some of the large providers have more than one portfolio. For example, in addition to the portfolio linked above, Africa Studio has another portfolio called "New Africa" with over 175,000 images and the Irish production company Wavebreak Media has at least six portfolios (123,   456 ) with more together than 800,000 images, and the two largest portfolios containing over 310,000 images.

Portfolio size Number Portfolios
Percent of Total
Only 1 image 98,088 21.20%
2 to 10 183,268 39.61%
11 to 100 111,727 24.15%
101 to 1,000 47,647 10.30%
1,001 to 10,000 19,882 4.30%
10,001 to 100,000 2,006 0.43%
100,001 to 1,000,000 64 0.10%
Over 1,000,000 1 0%
Total 462,683 100%

Let us now turn to the ranking. As a reminder, here is the list of how many sales a provider needs to achieve in order to achieve a certain ranking:

Images Required Ranking
Less than 99 White
200 to 999 Bronze
1,000 to 9,000 Silver
10,000 to 24,999 Gold
25,000 to 99,9989 Emerald
100,000 to 249,999 Sapphire
250,000 to 999,999 Ruby
Over 1,000,000 Diamond

 Download requirements for achieving ranking levels on Fotolia

Let's take a look at how many providers there are who have achieved which ranking:

Ranking Number Average Total Images Percent
  Portfolios Portfolio   Total Results
Diamond 3 575,527 1,726,580 1.26%
Ruby 40 117,405 4,696,186 3.42%
Sapphire 218 36,495 7,955,936 5.80%
Emerald 1,388 14,048 19,498,210 14.22%
Gold 2,522 7,626 19,232,397 14.03%
Silver 10,486 4,040 42,365,057 30.90%
Bronze 7,687 2,278 17,507,890 12.77%
White 321,614 14 4,562,816 3.33%
Infinite 84 117,54 987,340 0.72%
Empty 118,635 157 18,586,814 13.56%
Overall Results 462,677 296 137,119,226 100%

If you are attentive, you will find the column “empty”. These providers have portfolios between approx. 20–940 images and could not yet be assigned due to capacity reasons. Experience has shown that, based on criteria such as portfolio size, age of the portfolio, etc., these portfolios should be fairly evenly distributed among the silver, bronze and white rankings with a few infinite outliers in between.

The mean values for silver and bronze in the list could in real terms be slightly below the values shown, for white slightly above.

With 261 providers who have achieved more than 100,000 downloads, the group of those who generate a lot of sales is quite manageable. Even if we add the emerald ranking with more than 25,000 downloads, we only have 1649 providers. The majority of the sales are therefore accounted for by relatively few providers.

Logically, there is a correlation between portfolio size and downloads. That's why you can see in the table above how big a typical portfolio is within a ranking. This also shows that my portfolio with almost 39,000 images and ruby status has sold above average in recent years, because statistically, I would have to have more than 117,000 images online to have this status.

Now let's look at the countries from which the most successful providers come. For this I have only considered the 1649 providers with more than 25,000 downloads each.

Here you can see the distribution of the countries and their percentage weighting within this criterion (emerald status upwards).

Country number ranking
(Emerald to diamond) percent

Country Number Ranking Percent

Emerald to Diamond High Ranking
Germany 240 14.55%
Russian Federation 213 12.92%
Ukraine 140 8.49%
USA 138 8.37%
France 89 5.40%
Japan 74 4.49%
Italy 68 4.12%
Poland 57 3.46%
Thailand 52 3.15%
UK 48 2.91%
Spain 44 2.67%
Serbia 42 2.55%
Belarus 39 2.37%
Czech Republic 36 2.18%
Romania 31 1.88%
Canada 24 1.46%
Latvia 21 1.27%
Austria 16 0.97%
Turkey 15 0.91%
China 15 0.91%
Moldova 11 0.67%
Slovaikia 10 0.61%
Estonia 10 0.61%
Netherlands 10 0.61%
Bulgaria 10 0.61%
(remaining 51 countries) 191 11.58%
Total 1,649 100%

The European origin of the Fotolia picture agency becomes clear here, especially when compared to this Shutterstock list (in the German version of this story).

By far the largest number of top sellers come from Germany, the founding country France is in 5th place (instead of 20th place as with Shutterstock). After that, the large proportion of Eastern countries can be noticed, above all Russia and Ukraine, followed by Serbia, Belarus, the Czech Republic and Romania. The lower wage and production costs make it particularly attractive for photographers in these countries to sell their images worldwide in euros or US dollars.

The large proportion of European countries - six of the most common countries are European - among the well-selling providers can also be explained historically: Fotolia at the time placed great emphasis on localization. Almost every European country had its own country office at an early stage, the website was quickly translated into many national languages and the photographers were encouraged to add keywords in the national language.

The region and the language of the keywording were also very relevant when displaying the search hits. For example, a German customer was more likely to see images from German photographers with German search terms. With the takeover by Adobe, the regional focus at Adobe Stock has decreased significantly, which is why European photographers, especially the German ones, are now increasingly complaining about falling sales.

Just for fun, I took a closer look at the data of the German photographers because this is a German blog. According to this, German photographers are responsible for around 3 million images and the average successful German portfolio has around 10,000 images online. The above restrictions see “empty” also apply here, but if we take the 14.55% as a guide value, it would be a total of around 5.7 million images by German photographers.

Copyright © 2020 Robert Kneschke. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


  • Bas van Beek Posted Aug 31, 2020
    Any insight in photo Adobe turnover? What would be the average ppi? txs Bas

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