Adobe Slaps Creative Professionals In the Face – Launches Re-Branded Microstock Content Leach
Back when Adobe acquired Fotolia I think most creative professionals were really excited to see what Adobe had in mind for the stock industry.
I mean, a player as big as Adobe had the power to totally re-imagine the sale of stock photography, video and illustration for the benefit of their corporate bottom line and their loyal customer base (after all, creative professionals are the reason Adobe exists in the first place).
But, with todays update to Adobe Creative Cloud, instead we get Adobe Stock – in my opinion, nothing more than a re-branded microstock blood sucking content leach and a slap in the face to creative professionals everywhere.
Adobe Stock Will Pay You Whole Pennies For Your Work!
If you’re lucky and sell an on demand image through Adobe Stock – you’ll get paid $3.30 whole US dollars!
Yes, you read that right – the maximum amount Adobe is willing to pay a creative professional for licensing their work is $3.30.
Does that sound fair to you? Does that sound sustainable to you? How many times would your work have to be sold just to break even?
And that’s the maximum!
The worst part is that Adobe has maintained Fotolia’s existing
microstock micropayment business model*.
*Well they have raised subscription payouts to from 20-25% to 33% – golly gee wow – 33% of almost nothing is still almost nothing.
If you’re new to the
microstock micropayment business model – this is how Adobe’s generous new pay structure will benefit you:
Commission = 0.25 (original sale price) / 0.20 (assumed original commission rate) x 0.33 (new commission rate) = 0.41 (new sale price with Adobe Stock!!!!!!!!!!!!)
In other words, you’ll literally earn pennies more per sale…
If you want to know exactly how much Adobe Stock values your time and creativity as a creative professional, here is the link to the entire commission structure.
I’ll leave it up to you to figure out how many times you will have to sell an image through the generosity of Adobe Stock just to pay for your monthly Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.
Successful Stock Agencies Sell a Quality Product At a Fair Price
It’s no secret that microstock agencies have been fighting each other in a bizarre death spiral to the bottom of the barrel for years.
I guess that’s why I’m so disappointed with Adobe – they had a chance to do something that would not only benefit their client base of creative professionals but the entire creative industry as a whole – but instead we got just another blood sucking content leach that is designed to do nothing more than syphon the work of creative professionals into a system that gives little to nothing back to the artists that worked so hard to create it.
And if you’re thinking “well, that’s just how the creative industry works in the internet age” – it doesn’t have to.
To Be Fair – Adobe Stock Is The Lowest Common Denominator
At the risk of sounding a little too much like that grumpy internet guy so far – I can understand where Adobe might be coming from.
What differentiates boutique stock agencies like Stocksy United, Offset, 500px Prime and Image Brief from the hordes of cheap-ass microstock is that their collections are all highly curated and tightly controlled.
On the other hand, if Adobe is committed to a mass market product, they had to keep Adobe Stock open to everyone – which means very low acceptance criteria – the hallmark of microstock.
If you don’t want to control who contributes or tell people that their work isn’t good enough, it’s pretty hard to charge a premium price for crap content.
What Do You Think?
Is Adobe Stock a good deal for creative professionals and the creative industry?
Will designers jump on the Adobe Stock bandwagon simply because it will be integrated with Adobe Creative Cloud applications?
Is there a business case for anyone to sell creative content at the rates offered by Adobe Stock?
How far can microstock content distributors squeeze their contributors before they impode and destroy themselves?
Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts!
JP Danko is a commercial photographer based in Toronto, Canada. JP can change a lens mid-rappel, swap a memory card while treading water, or use a camel as a light stand. To see more of his work please visit his studio website blurMEDIAphotography, or follow him on Twitter, 500px, Google Plus or YouTube. JP’s photography is available for licensing at Stocksy United.