Will Adobe Introduce An Image Search Tool To Its 3.4 Million Customers

Posted on 1/14/2015 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (1)

Will Adobe offer a tool that makes it possible for its Illustrator and InDesign customers to discover if the images they find on microstock sites (particularly Shutterstock or iStock) are also available at Fotolia where they can be purchased for much less?

Yesterday, I examined some of Adobe’s options and concluded that it is unlikely Adobe will be able to design a subscription offer that would be appealing enough to Creative Cloud (CC) users to convince them to switch to Fotolia from their present source of stock imagery. On the other hand, if they focus on convincing CC users of the economic advantage of going to Fotolia to purchase the single images they need, and make it easy for them to find the images they want there, Adobe might have a winning strategy.

Consider the gross revenue generated from 100,000 download at each of these three sites.

  Image Pack Size Cost To Total Cost for
    Download 100,000 DLs
Fotolia Cost to DL 25 XXL files $140 $560,000
Shutterstock Cost to DL 25 files, any size $229 $916,000
Cost to DL 24 non-exclusive files $230 $958,410

At the above prices the images can be downloaded anytime within a year of purchase. However, if the Fotolia customer is going to download 25 images within a month they can get $25 downloads for $60. That works out to $240,000 for 100,000 XXL downloads. And if all the customer needs is Medium or smaller files sizes he/she can get 50 downloads for this same 25 download price.

Obviously, there is a significant advantage to buying images at Fotolia if they happens to be available there.

The problem with this strategy is that while it might significantly increase Fotolia sales it could also result in a significant decline in overall revenue for the industry unless a huge number of new users start buying imagery.

Such a tool could be easily adapted to enable customers to determine if any image found on the Internet needs to be licensed before use. Many graphic designers and other creatives complain that they find images on the Internet that they would like to use, but they have no way of determining whether the image needs to be licensed, or where to go to get a proper license. Such a tool could go a long way to solving that problem and would likely be widely embraced by professional image buyers.

Back in September when Bing introduced their Bing Image Widget, I wrote about, “How Bing’s Image Imbed Tool Could Benefit Creators.”

The technology necessary for such a tool is already widely available and being used by TinEye, Google, Bing, PicScout, and the UK’s Copyright Hub .

All Adobe has to decide is whether it will benefit them in the long run.

Check out these links for to Fotolia, Shutterstock and iStock for Image-On-Demand pricing schedules.

Copyright © 2015 Jim Pickerell. 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

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


  • Dmitry Shironosov Posted Jan 17, 2015
    I think for contributors the price is not so important as the royalty share of different microstock agencies.

    Btw, one more working tool for buyers to search and compare the prices through the whole world of microstock images is www.microstock.photos.

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