Adobe Stock Answers Questions

Posted on 11/3/2015 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Recently, I asked AdobeStock a number of questions about their operations. Their answers can be found below.

1 - How many new images has Fotolia acquired since Adobe took over?

Fotolia has acquired 10+ million since the acquisition.

2. How many images are currently in the AdobeStock collection?  (I understand that not all the Fotolia images have been transferred to AS because they are only available on Fotolia at higher price points.)

There are currently 40+ million images in Adobe Stock. It is correct that not all of the Fotolia images have transferred to Adobe Stock. The content team is working continuously to expand on the high quality content currently available.

3 - How many video files are in the Fotolia collection? (I understand that they will be added to AS at about the end of 2015.)

There are currently 1+ million video files in Fotolia.
4 - What is the max size of a watermarked image that can be downloaded for planning purposes, or stored in Adobe CC, without cost?

The maximum size or physical dimension is 1000px wide for horizontal/height for vertical. The size in inches or centimetres is the same as the original image.
5 - If, in the planning process, a designer does some corrections of one of these watermarked images in Photoshop or Illustrator, will those corrections be automatically applied to un-watermarked versions of the image, if and when the customer decides to actually use and pay for the image?

Yes. Amendments to the watermarked version will be updated to the licensed version (so long as it’s compatible with a Photoshop smart object).
6 - What percentage of AS image suppliers are also buyers? (I estimate that many Graphic Designers and Illustrators who are buyers of images are also suppliers of images to AS. My estimates are that about one-third of the microstock images have been created by image buyers. Is this in the ball park?)

We connect creatives at both ends of the market. Many are both buyers and contributors.
7 - Do you have any estimates of the number of AS image creators who are part-timers as opposed to people who are trying to earn a living from the work they create?

We do not have this specific information however Adobe Stock contributors represent a wide variety of both full-time and part-time content creators being a very diverse community.
8 - Some AS image buyers have reported that no use restrictions are supplied when unwatermarked images are delivered. Is this true? It is my understanding that some of the images that are available were supplied by the creators for “editorial use only” and it appears that information is not being communicated to the buyers. Also there seems to be no indications about the necessity of “Extended Licenses” for certain uses.

The licenses granted are for commercial use. Please refer to our terms and conditions. There are some limitations such as print run limits, which will be covered by extended licenses coming soon, as announced recently at Adobe MAX, Adobe’s creativity conference.

Other Questions

I asked two other questions that, understandably, Adobe was unwilling to answer. Nevertheless, I believe these are issues readers should consider.
    9 - Do you have any estimates of the percentage of total downloads into CC storage that end up being actually used and paid for?

    10 - What percentage of Adobe¹s 4 million customers are picture users?
It is generally assumed that all subscription customers download many images for planning purposes that are never actually used in a deliverable product. However, to date, no one has any idea how many of the images downloaded through subscriptions actually end up getting used.

With Adobe’s unique system (see 4 and 5 above) only the downloads used in actual products are paid uses. Thus, contributors may discover that far fewer of their images are licensed through Adobe’s subscription product that through the subscription products of other distributors, even if Adobe Stock is wildly successful among image users.

It is worth remembering that at the recent Visual Connections ( conference image buyers noted that they often use subscriptions as a research tool and a place to get ideas rather than a place to purchase images they intend to use.

One package designer said that his clients expect to see 5 to 15 variations of a design from which the client will choose one. The designer uses stock for the presentations, but only pays for the image finally chosen. Adobe has the capability of tracking the number of images placed in customer Creative Cloud storage areas and the number actually licensed, but it is understandable why they don’t want to share that information.

On Question 10, Adobe claims to currently have 8 million Creative Cloud enterprise customers and 17 million Creative Cloud users (some of enterprise customers have multiple users). Both Getty Images and Shutterstock claim to have a little over one-million customers.  On the other hand many of Adobe’s customers are image creators (photographers and illustrators) who never purchase images. Thus, the number of potential image purchasers is unclear.

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, 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:  


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