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New Adobe Stock Contributor Portal Enables Producers To Sell Stock Media Directly Via CC Apps

Adobe Stock Contributor Portal gives you a platform for uploading your footage, photos, and vector illustrations for sale into the libraries available to every Creative Cloud subscriber around the world, inside the Creative Cloud applications they're using every day, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and more

If you're reading this, it’s all but certain that you’ve at some point in your career made money using an Adobe product: Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Dreamweaver, maybe even the “F” word (Flash). The odds are better than even that one or more Adobe products are at the core of your work, if not your entire career.

With the Adobe Stock Contributor Portal comes a twist: Adobe now provides a platform for you to upload your footage, photos, and vector illustrations for sale into the libraries available to every Creative Cloud subscriber around the world, inside the Creative Cloud applications they’re using every day, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and more.

Adobe Creative Cloud is no longer just a place to make stuff, or a place to buy stuff from the existing content already available there. Even though the Adobe Stock Contributor Portal is only in beta for now, Creative Cloud is already well-positioned to become the premiere place to sell stuff too.

And no, you don’t need to be a Creative Cloud subscriber. You just need to have the Adobe ID in hand that you’ve likely had for years. Otherwise, it’s a couple of quick clicks to create one, no subscription required.

The first goal of the Adobe Stock Contributor Portal, says Adobe Senior Director of Product Management Zeke Koch, is to make it super easy to contribute.

“One of our major priorities for contributors is to maximize the time spent doing what you do best – capturing and creating content – and minimize time spent during the submission process. That’s why we’ve integrated Adobe Stock contributor submission directly within Creative Cloud applications: right from where you create, saving you time and reducing friction.”

For the first phase of the beta program, you’ll be able to upload directly from Lightroom CC and Bridge CC, with a goal to quickly integrate into more CC apps.

For that matter, you can also use FTP, or good ol' drag and drop in a dead-simple UI.

For the first round, there are some narrow-ish limits to media formats.

Images (Photos or Illustrations):

  • JPEG format only.
  • Images must have standard aspect ratios and cannot be resized.
  • Minimum image resolution is 1,600 x 2,400 pixels (4 megapixels)
  • Maximum image resolution is 65 megapixels
  • Maximum file size is 30 MB


  • AI or EPS format. We recommend to save your file compatible with earlier versions of Adobe Illustrator, such as Illustrator CS6.
  • The vector file must be placed in a zip archive that includes a JPEG preview.
  • The JPEG preview resolution should at least be 5,000 x 3,000 (15 million pixels).


  • Content should be recorded in 4K DCI, UHD TV, or Full HD, with a minimum resolution of 1280x720 in .MOV, MP4, MPG ,or AVI format.
  • Duration needs to be at least 5 seconds and not exceed 60 seconds.
  • File size must be less than 3900MB (3.9GB).
  • Please avoid vertical or square framing.

That’s not to say that every bit of media submitted will be accepted of course. We suspect that this will be more true than not for contributors making their way Creative Cloud-ward via Creative COW, but there’s a review process of 2-5 days, during which time your work will be evaluated for legal, technical and quality standards.

Note that legal standards include razor-sharp model and property (yes, buildings and locations) releases, plus other considerations laid out here, but yeah, the work has to be good enough to make the cut.

Again, this seems like a slam dunk for the typical COW member, but Adobe also offers some solid tips on what they’re looking for from a “good” stock photo, vector, or video, very much worth exploring here

Not only that, Adobe offers extensive guidelines for the kinds of reasons that will get your work rejected out of hand, here

“One of our major new features is suggested keywording,” says Zeke. “We leverage innovative machine learning technology to automatically generate the first five keywords of each image you submit.”

Once your upload is complete, your work is analyzed for similarities to previously uploaded images or footage. The portal suggests an order for the keywords based on the relevance it discerns within your media, but these are easily reordered and edited as you see fit.

Zeke notes that, because the usefulness of autogenerated keywords relies on lots of people editing their keywords to further teach the machine during the beta cycle, this process will work better over time.

A small known issue that experienced taggers will want to note: auto-keywording doesn’t work if keywords have already been added to your files (say, in Bridge). You’ll also certainly be wanting to add more than five keywords, but with these little provisos, this looks to be a nifty little tool.

Nice and easy: 33% royalty for photos and vector art, up to 35% for video. Once you’ve reached $50, you can request payout via PayPal and Skrill.

The biggest way that Adobe is making it easy to make money, though, is by making the Adobe Stock Contributor Portal accessible. Dave Cross only has a couple of images up as of this writing, but he’d never gotten around to uploading anything at all anywhere else before this. Very definitely a step in the right direction for him, with presumably more contributions to follow.

“I’ve never really explored the idea of selling my photos on stock sites, as it seemed like a lot of effort,” Dave says. “The Adobe Stock Contributor portal sure makes it easy, especially with the automatic suggestions for keywording.

“Now there’s no excuse for not to start selling my images.”

Robert Kneschke is a professional photographer who’s been selling a lot of stock content, and is already a Core Contributor to Adobe Stock. “It’s great to see how the Adobe Stock integration in CC is always being driven forward,” he says. With another nod to the time savings of auto-keywording, Robert adds, “As a pro stock photographer, I am delighted to see that my favorite photo management program, Adobe Bridge CC, is now literally a bridge to Adobe Stock!”

Adobe’s purchase of the European microstock house Fotolia for $800 million cash in early 2015 was splashy news, and Adobe wasted no time integrating the many million members of that community, and their even more many millions of artworks, into Creative Cloud. Media uploaded to Adobe Stock will also be available inside Fotolia, which has a different royalty structure, based on a different business model: subscriptions. You may have heard of such a thing before.

Like Adobe Stock proper, the basic structure is 33% for photos and vectors, and 35% for video, but commissions are based on contributor ranking based on previous sales, and can go as high as 46% for non-exclusive work, and up to 63% for total exclusivity. Many, many details here.

There’s a somewhat tiered structure within Adobe Stock as well, with a limited number of Premium Contributors currently being hand-chosen by Adobe. This too promises to open up in the future.

For now, Premium Contributors like Arne Trautmann are enjoying the early going, with stories that should start becoming familiar by now. “The new Adobe Stock Contributor portal streamlines the whole backend workflow,” he says. “I can put my content online directly from Lightroom CC or Bridge CC, and it right into the tools of my customers.” Check out Arne’s Premium Portfolio here

Lasse Behnke is another Premium Contributor. Here's what he has to say.

What's next?

“Game changer” is a designation too easily and too often thrown around, especially this early on -- but this does have something of a whiff of that. Creative Cloud software is already sitting on many millions of desktops (over 7 million as of March 2016), and providing a tightly integrated path for both contributors and customers certainly shortens the path for the transactions. So does the use of Adobe IDs all the way ‘round for easy payments.

No matter where else artists are licensing their work, it’s hard to imagine that Adobe Stock won’t immediately become a preferred outlet for future sales, which will also make it an increasingly compelling place to look for stock to license, already at the fingertips of millions of artists who'll be able to find it exactly where they need it: inside their favorite Adobe Creative Cloud applications.