Company Offers Pay-As-You-Go Purchase or Monthly Subscriptions With Rollover and a Discount for Creative Cloud Members

Adobe revealed details of its plan to carve out a chunk of the stock photo market with today's launch of Adobe Stock, offering subscription-based and per-image access to royalty-free photos, illustrations, and other graphic elements.

The stock content marketplace is already fairly crowded, but Adobe has a significant leg up—Adobe Stock is integrated directly into the new Libraries panel, just added to Creative Cloud applications.

Creative Cloud Application Integration
In Photoshop, a "Search Adobe Stock" dropdown from the File menu launches a search page in the user's web browser. Images can be saved to a user's Creative Cloud Library—a key feature of the latest Creative Cloud software updates, which also arrived today—where they will be available in watermarked versions inside Photoshop. An image can then be dragged from the libraries panel into a Photoshop composition, where adjustments can be applied. If the image works in context, the last step is choosing the "License Image" option in the Creative Cloud library, which replaces the watermarked comp with the clean, high-resolution version of the image, with any applied effects automatically carried over.

Other applications, including Premiere Pro and After Effects, do not seem to have the "Search Adobe Stock" function integrated, but content that has been saved to a Library can easily be used in Premiere sequences and After Effects comps, and the same "License Image" option is available from the context menu in the Library panel in each application. Expect deeper integration in Premiere and After Effects when Adobe begins offering stock video content, a development that is almost certainly on the way once any hitches get worked out of the photo offering.

Single Adobe Stock images will be sold for $9.99, but Creative Cloud members can subscribe for a flat $29.99 monthly fee (assuming commitment to an annual plan) that includes 10 images. Additional images are $2.99 each for those subscribers. Adobe Stock also allows image credits to rollover from month to month for up to a year, maxing out at 120 images. Non-members pay $49.99/month for the same deal with image rollover, and $4,99 for any additional images. And a special option for power users allows use of up to 750 images per month at a price of $199.99 for an annual plan or $249.99 month for a month-to-month plan, with additional images running $0.99 and no image rollovers.

If Creative Cloud users sign up for Adobe Stock in large numbers, that will represent a substantial increase in revenue for the company—the monthly fee for Creative Cloud subscribers who add Adobe Stock will be bumped by 60 percent, from $49.99 to $79.98.

Tapping a $3 Billion Market
Adobe Stock is built on the microstock library operated by Fotolia, which Adobe purchased earlier this year for about $800 million. While Fotolia is said to operate in 23 countries, with websites in 14 languages, Adobe says its own site launched in 36 countries and in 13 languages. In a press release, Adobe described the total stock photo business as a $3 billion global market and said that 85 percent of the customers of stock content sites are users of Adobe software.

"The deep integration with our latest Creative Cloud desktop apps, including Photoshop and InDesign, makes buying and using stock photos incredibly easy," said Adobe SVP of Digital Media David Wadhwani in a prepared statement. "At the same time, our customers—the best photographers and designers on the planet—will have the opportunity to contribute millions of new photos and images to Adobe Stock."

However, the functionality for contributing stock images for sale has yet to be fully integrated. For now, Adobe is asking pros to set up an account and submit content at the website, which remains operational and still offers its own pricing options for on-demand purchases as well as subscriptions by the month and by the day.