I was reading a discussion about the Adobe Stock Contributor Portal and a few people were complaining about how their sales had fallen since Adobe took over Fotolia. I was under the impression that my sales had gone very strongly in the opposite direction and so I decided to look at my stats and see what my experience was. As I suspected, the results have been very positive:
Adobe announced the purchase in December 2014 but not very much happened, as you would expect in the next 6 months or so. I had always had issues with Fotoliafirstly with massive rejections of anything that wasn’t a studio shot (many of my travel uploads would have 75% rejection rates) and then we had the whole Dollar Club issues. I stopped uploading for at least a year, and so if I plot my files online with Fotolia/Adobe Stock it looks like this:
When I saw the takeover by Adobe I decided to start the uploads again, and had a big “catch-up” exercise in mid 2015. I was then finding Adobe to be much more accepting of travel type shots and so they became one of the agencies that I regularly upload to again. I have to say that this was a great decision as the earnings have really progressed since then. For me, the changes started to happen in September 2015, have continued to grow steadily through 2016 and are reaching new heights as 2017 moves forward, as you can see from the red bars in the earnings chart above. If I look at earnings per online file on Fotolia/Adobe Stock, I get this picture:
Fotolia always had an OK earnings per file (mainly because they rejected most of my images, but I guess they understood their buyers!). This was falling along with almost all other agencies through 2013/2014, but the move to Adobe has really reversed that trend and this measure is powering higher month by month.
When I think about why this is, I do notice that the same files seem to sell regularly on Adobe – almost as if they get to the top of the search and continue to be purchased. My best seller is a picture of my old home:
This (and a few similar ones) were uploaded in July 2015 and have sold regularly ever since. In fact, I got one a calendar from my current realtor that had this as the January image! Other images seem to pop up pretty regularly in the emails I get from Adobe when a file sells. However, I also get sales of my most recent uploads as well – not necessarily of all of them, but a few seem to catch the attention of the buyers and then they seem to join the regularly downloaded list such as this one from last year:
My most recent uploads of bitcoins are also selling nicely on Adobe whereas they are nowhere to be seen on Shutterstock. I obviously missed the few days (or hours) they were on the first page of New images and now they are lost in the morass of the Shutterstock database!
The bottom line for me is that I like the way new images can be found and can start to sell, and I’m most impressed with the growth I’m seeing. Whatever Adobe are doing, I hope they continue doing it!