Adobe ventures into stock photos, offers Creative Cloud integration

The images can be accessed through Adobe's Creative Cloud or as a standalone service

Adobe Systems has ventured into the stock images market, launching both a service that integrates with its cloud-based Creative Cloud tools, and a standalone stock images marketplace with 40 million curated and royalty-free images.

The new service, called Adobe Stock, will compete with those offered by established players like Getty Images and Shutterstock. But Adobe thinks it has an edge as 85 percent of customers of stock images use Adobe creative tools. Adobe Stock will also provide opportunities for photographers and designers to contribute new photos and images, the company said Tuesday.

Adobe also announced updates to its desktop tools, including Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, Premiere Pro CC and InDesign CC, and new connected mobile apps for iOS and Android, as part of its 2015 release of Creative Cloud. It released Brush CC, Shape CC, Color CC and Photoshop Mix on Android for the first time.

The images business is an offshoot of the company's US$800 million acquisition in January this year of privately-held Fotolia, a marketplace for stock content. Adobe said at the time that the acquisition would give Creative Cloud members the ability to access and purchase Fotolia's over 34 million images and videos, assisting in the design process. Adobe said it also planned to continue to operate Fotolia as a standalone stock service, accessible to anyone.

Adobe is offering its customers a variety of pricing options, ranging from $10 for a single image to $50 per month for 10 images a month, with rollover of up to 120 unused images, and an annual plan, priced at $200 per month for 750 images monthly. Creative Cloud members get a lower price of $30 on the monthly plan. The service has been launched in 36 countries and in 13 languages.

Adobe Stock can be launched directly within Adobe desktop software, such as Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, and InDesign CC. Designers can add watermarked images to their Creative Cloud Libraries and access and work with the images across multiple desktop and mobile tools, the company said.

Images can be licensed directly from within the CC desktop apps or through the Adobe Stock website. Licenses are non-exclusive. When an image is licensed, the watermark is removed, and the user receives the image in its highest resolution. People selling images on Adobe earn a varying commission on sales.

Videos are currently not available on Adobe Stock, but the company hopes to make it available soon. It is currently offering photos, illustrations and graphics.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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