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Author Topic: Adobe shakes things up - Announces plan to acquire Fotolia  (Read 32732 times)

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« Reply #125 on: December 18, 2014, 11:30 »
+1
Surely the treatment of contributors will change? Fotolia will get someone from Adobe to overlook things? I dont think Adobe wants to deal with a backlash of contributors. Only evil company's dont care about bad word of mouth, question is, is Adobe an evil company?

If Oleg and the original crew are still going to run the FT show you can rest assured his first order of business (before he receives his big check) is to inform Adobe of all the ways that they can screw contributors. After all he is the king of that business model. So, my biggest worry for all of you (I am not with FT no moe) is how Oleg participates in the management of this. I suspect he will be on a retainer for a year or so during the transition and ultimately will phase out to go to Cuba to buy some more cigars. For whatever it's worth I hope something good comes out of this for you folks and does not end up another nail in the coffin of MS.
I doubt they will keep Oleg more than a year or even a few months.  When sales are made the buyer always makes promises and brings the essential team onboard, keep the suppliers and buyers calm, soak as much knowledge out of them as possible then replace them with someone internal at a more reasonable salary.  Of course the non-competes were signed upon the sale.  We won't hear from Oleg again until the non-compete expires, in 2-5 years.  I won't be running to sign up to his new agency though.

They will have to keep some of the FT people on in order to figure out what they just bought and how it works. "Knowledge Transfer".

Like Mantis said they will then look for the FT team to help them identify options to do some screwing. "Optimize Financials". This will include looking at cutting costs such as who at FT should be let go, how they can consolidate FT hardware into Adobe systems, how they can increase profits by paying out less to contributors, and on and on. 

I don't think the paying out less part will be obvious. They won't just cut commissions. They will probably come up with some non-transparent shell game changes to the royalty model where contributors will have no visibility into the formulas and no idea how it affects them. Adobe has a big legal department and has been writing expertly crafted license agreements since before most FT employees were born. And they will probably use the Adobe household name to dangle carrots out to try and get a flood of new contributors to balance out the small percentage of ones they'll lose from the "financial optimization".

And they're a public company. The FT deal was big enough to make their stock bounce. They will be under pressure from investors to make this $800M investment work and not turn into another stock failure. I would love to think this is going to be a positive move for contributors. But I just keep thinking about 2009 iStock where they did stuff like making vague adjustments to royalties and telling everyone it shouldn't affect contributor earnings because of the increased sales volume.

Have your Plan B ready folks.

That is exactly how a big technology acquisition works.   And the more that's paid for a company, the more pressure there is to meet impossible profit goals and the crazier the subsequent bloodletting becomes.  The 'non-transparent shell game' you're talking about can be a subscription plan or a 'credit' system, either of which effectively conceal the real selling price from the contributor.


« Reply #126 on: December 18, 2014, 11:40 »
+2
I am not sure, but arent those types of concealed pricing illegal, like in Europe? I wish there was some kind of law or protection for contributors. It took a while for Europe to crack down on mobile phone carriers, something like that should happen for stock agencies as well.

« Reply #127 on: December 18, 2014, 18:45 »
+3
I just keep thinking about 2009 iStock where they did stuff like making vague adjustments to royalties and telling everyone it shouldn't affect contributor earnings because of the increased sales volume.


There are big differences however:

Getty bought iStock because it had to (do something about microstock). They did not have a lot of choices, because they were primarily about selling pictures and microstock was changing the model. And today the company still faces many issues (as we know from the Nov 2014 Moody's analysis which Jo Ann Snover has  posted here). Even Shutterstock, for all of its success and the amazing IPO, is still only in the stock photo business. Everything depends upon them selling pictures.

Adobe by contrast has bought into the stock business because it wants to. I think because it sees stock as being something which it can use to add value to a family of subscription services which are already doing tremendously well. It is not today under the same sorts of pressures to cut costs and compete so ruthlessly. It has much more freedom to shape the thing how it wants it, even to gold plate the service perhaps, to some extent.

Perhaps I am naive, but I actually believe that they really are about building out a marketplace around the Adobe subscriptions.

« Reply #128 on: December 18, 2014, 19:28 »
+1
I just keep thinking about 2009 iStock where they did stuff like making vague adjustments to royalties and telling everyone it shouldn't affect contributor earnings because of the increased sales volume.


There are big differences however:

Getty bought iStock because it had to (do something about microstock). They did not have a lot of choices, because they were primarily about selling pictures and microstock was changing the model. And today the company still faces many issues (as we know from the Nov 2014 Moody's analysis which Jo Ann Snover has  posted here). Even Shutterstock, for all of its success and the amazing IPO, is still only in the stock photo business. Everything depends upon them selling pictures.

Adobe by contrast has bought into the stock business because it wants to. I think because it sees stock as being something which it can use to add value to a family of subscription services which are already doing tremendously well. It is not today under the same sorts of pressures to cut costs and compete so ruthlessly. It has much more freedom to shape the thing how it wants it, even to gold plate the service perhaps, to some extent.

Perhaps I am naive, but I actually believe that they really are about building out a marketplace around the Adobe subscriptions.


Couldn't Adobe do this through a partnership, something along the lines SS did with Facebook as opposed to investing $800M?? Personally, I believe that Adobe could enhance their sub services pretty well without spending that kind of money. This is why I believe that there is more to this story than just adding a new 'cross merchandising' model to CC. I may be whacked, but if I spent $800M I would have a lot of plans for that investment and I better be in a position to offer a convincing model to my shareholders. That said, I do agree with you that they wanted to purchase FT to create revenue, but my take is revenue through multiple channels.  I am just not convinced that CC is the only outlet they will use to recoup their investment (and I am not saying that you are saying that either, just in general).   

Hobostocker

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« Reply #129 on: December 18, 2014, 19:59 »
-1
Have your Plan B ready folks.

i don't think they need to cut costs at all in Fotolia as for starters it will be a lot cheaper to be run and owned by Adobe, just think about lower taxation and lower costs to run the IT and cloud infrastructure, not to mention that Adobe could easily recoup the 800 million dollars on the stock exchange.

yes. they could layoff some FT guys but just because they don't fit in the Adobe corporate culture and of course they will redesign FT to fit into Adobe's masterplan.

as i said before Adobe has never been known as a cheap charlie company, they're not Microsoft or Walmart.
their products are great and always been, they've a proven track record about this since the 80s, they're selling top-notch applications for a very fair price actually.

« Reply #130 on: December 18, 2014, 20:08 »
0
I just keep thinking about 2009 iStock where they did stuff like making vague adjustments to royalties and telling everyone it shouldn't affect contributor earnings because of the increased sales volume.


There are big differences however:

Getty bought iStock because it had to (do something about microstock). They did not have a lot of choices, because they were primarily about selling pictures and microstock was changing the model. And today the company still faces many issues (as we know from the Nov 2014 Moody's analysis which Jo Ann Snover has  posted here). Even Shutterstock, for all of its success and the amazing IPO, is still only in the stock photo business. Everything depends upon them selling pictures.

Adobe by contrast has bought into the stock business because it wants to. I think because it sees stock as being something which it can use to add value to a family of subscription services which are already doing tremendously well. It is not today under the same sorts of pressures to cut costs and compete so ruthlessly. It has much more freedom to shape the thing how it wants it, even to gold plate the service perhaps, to some extent.

Perhaps I am naive, but I actually believe that they really are about building out a marketplace around the Adobe subscriptions.


Couldn't Adobe do this through a partnership, something along the lines SS did with Facebook as opposed to investing $800M?? Personally, I believe that Adobe could enhance their sub services pretty well without spending that kind of money. This is why I believe that there is more to this story than just adding a new 'cross merchandising' model to CC. I may be whacked, but if I spent $800M I would have a lot of plans for that investment and I better be in a position to offer a convincing model to my shareholders. That said, I do agree with you that they wanted to purchase FT to create revenue, but my take is revenue through multiple channels.  I am just not convinced that CC is the only outlet they will use to recoup their investment (and I am not saying that you are saying that either, just in general).


umm ... not really firstly Adobe would I'm sure like to have some customers already acquired ... secondly, contributors already acquired and a library of images ... I think integrating the library into cc and 1 click purchase (or extremely easy purchase and signup) will be key. Adobe is a company that I trust, as I know many of you do ... and I'm sure that they've got some of the best minds available trying to make sure that they do it right ... I'd certainly imagine they're paying attention to contributor interests more now than Fotolia ever has.

Hobostocker

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« Reply #131 on: December 18, 2014, 20:12 »
0
Perhaps I am naive, but I actually believe that they really are about building out a marketplace around the Adobe subscriptions.

if that was true they would have bought Envato instead of Fotolia.

but indeed it would make sense for Adobe to complement its own ecosystem with a marketplace considering they sell apps for DTP, Photography, Web design, Audio, and Video editing.

i don't know why they opted for FT actually, Adobe is so rich they could buy Getty but probably it doesn't fit their plans or they've been told Getty is not for sale ?

i mean 800 millions is nothing nowadays, Microsoft bought Skype for 8.5$ and Facebook bought Instagram for 1 billion $

if the Adobe stock goes up just 1% they already recoup maybe half billion $ of market cap in a single day ...
we may be impresed by these numbers but for a Fortune-50 corporation it's really just a small side deal and we should expect some more M&As coming from Adobe next year.

Hobostocker

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« Reply #132 on: December 18, 2014, 20:15 »
0
so what will be Fotolia's new name under Adobe CC ?

Adobe inStock ?


PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #133 on: December 19, 2014, 11:03 »
+3
Have your Plan B ready folks.

i don't think they need to cut costs at all in Fotolia as for starters it will be a lot cheaper to be run and owned by Adobe, just think about lower taxation and lower costs to run the IT and cloud infrastructure, not to mention that Adobe could easily recoup the 800 million dollars on the stock exchange.

yes. they could layoff some FT guys but just because they don't fit in the Adobe corporate culture and of course they will redesign FT to fit into Adobe's masterplan.

as i said before Adobe has never been known as a cheap charlie company, they're not Microsoft or Walmart.
their products are great and always been, they've a proven track record about this since the 80s, they're selling top-notch applications for a very fair price actually.

On top of the $800M they just assumed all ongoing operating costs including office leases, labor, technology, and so on. It will be cheaper for them eventually after they make changes like your example of running the IT and Cloud Infrastructure. Today, it isn't cheaper. Like I said earlier, after they figure out what what they bought then they can decide what to do with it. Even that will cost them a ton and take a long time. They will need to do a technology assessment and figure out what to do with FT IT. They will then probably need to take on a massive project of moving FT IT into Adobe's environment.

From what I remember FT started off as a garage project and the code and technology has probably been piecemealed and band-aided into a mess over the years. Adobe's development approach and code is probably pristine and they will need to do a lot of cleanup.

Now that I think about I'm wondering if they really just paid $800M for the images and sales assets because Adobe could probably code a better system from scratch for less cost and in less time than to try and clean up FT code.

They're a business. Any smart business will immediately be looking at optimizing finances. They may not do anything about it for a while but they already did plenty of analysis before the acquisition. Now they can look under the hood and see how far off their analysis was.

« Reply #134 on: December 19, 2014, 11:53 »
0
I just keep thinking about 2009 iStock where they did stuff like making vague adjustments to royalties and telling everyone it shouldn't affect contributor earnings because of the increased sales volume.


There are big differences however:

Getty bought iStock because it had to (do something about microstock). They did not have a lot of choices, because they were primarily about selling pictures and microstock was changing the model. And today the company still faces many issues (as we know from the Nov 2014 Moody's analysis which Jo Ann Snover has  posted here). Even Shutterstock, for all of its success and the amazing IPO, is still only in the stock photo business. Everything depends upon them selling pictures.

Adobe by contrast has bought into the stock business because it wants to. I think because it sees stock as being something which it can use to add value to a family of subscription services which are already doing tremendously well. It is not today under the same sorts of pressures to cut costs and compete so ruthlessly. It has much more freedom to shape the thing how it wants it, even to gold plate the service perhaps, to some extent.

Perhaps I am naive, but I actually believe that they really are about building out a marketplace around the Adobe subscriptions.


Agreed with bunhill...and maybe Adobe is also looking into getting some big footage supplier too for their Adobe Premiere... Pond5?

Semmick Photo

« Reply #135 on: December 19, 2014, 15:03 »
-5
Maybe there is a chance to return to Fotolia for me. If they change management and it becomes part of Adobe, I see no reason why not to get my portfolio up with Adobe again. I hope this deal works out for everyone.

Hobostocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #136 on: December 19, 2014, 21:27 »
+1
Adobe's development approach and code is probably pristine and they will need to do a lot of cleanup.

Now that I think about I'm wondering if they really just paid $800M for the images and sales assets because Adobe could probably code a better system from scratch for less cost and in less time than to try and clean up FT code.

They're a business. Any smart business will immediately be looking at optimizing finances. They may not do anything about it for a while but they already did plenty of analysis before the acquisition. Now they can look under the hood and see how far off their analysis was.

you can expect Adobe to rewrite the whole code from scratch using their own Framework, that's what they basically did after buying Macromedia and in other M&As.

yes, they paid 800$ for the sales and active users of course, let's say an average of 20$ per image which is a lot but indeed they always had a long term vision, buying Macromedia paid off big time for instance but it took a few years of course, and i remember very well when they launched InDesign nobody in the DTP industry would give Adobe a chance as Quark Xpress was the king of the hill, undisputed, market leader, and a total monopoly, and look now instead, who's left using Quark ? not many and many laughed at Adobe's calling it a bluff  .. as for me i started using PS3 and Quark on ancient Mac II a few centuries ago hahaha ...
« Last Edit: December 19, 2014, 21:31 by Hobostocker »

« Reply #137 on: December 19, 2014, 22:47 »
+5
I think Quark shot itself in the head and Adobe was there to grab market share - take a look at this story about why InDesign dethroned Quark

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/01/quarkxpress-the-demise-of-a-design-desk-darling/

And Adobe is no paragon of software development virtue - they have a ton of legacy code and the problems that go with moving it forward. They're also slow to fix bugs in Photoshop and Illustrator. I'm sure they're better than Fotolia, but you seem to be painting a picture of Adobe that doesn't map to my experiences using their software since Photoshop version 5 (not CS5, version 5) and Illustrator 88

« Reply #138 on: December 20, 2014, 01:50 »
0
I think it's likely that Adobe-owned FT will cancel all the fly-by-night partner arrangements that FT has.  I would think they will want to protect their brand and make their product available through the CC.   That would seem inconsistent with partner arrangements.  If that's right then there's one good thing that may come of this...

Hobostocker

    This user is banned.
« Reply #139 on: December 20, 2014, 02:38 »
0
I think Quark shot itself in the head and Adobe was there to grab market share - take a look at this story about why InDesign dethroned Quark

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/01/quarkxpress-the-demise-of-a-design-desk-darling/

And Adobe is no paragon of software development virtue - they have a ton of legacy code and the problems that go with moving it forward. They're also slow to fix bugs in Photoshop and Illustrator. I'm sure they're better than Fotolia, but you seem to be painting a picture of Adobe that doesn't map to my experiences using their software since Photoshop version 5 (not CS5, version 5) and Illustrator 88


yes, Quark dug it own grave just as many other textbook examples in the past, see Lotus, Borland, WordPerfect, WordStar, Visicalc, and what about Compaq, OS/2, IBM in the 90s, HP under Carly Fiorina, Microsoft under Ballmer, or even modern cases like Netscape and the whole army of companies that got busted after the 2000 bubble exploded in their face ....

but Quark in particular, yes definetely a textbook case of disastrous management, similar to the fate of Lotus and WordPerfect in many ways and indeed i see a similar pattern with iStock too.

as for Adobe code : it's not so much legacy actually as it's all C++ and easily portable on many platform if they need to, the issue is that it's heavily dependent on the graphics subsystem for performance reasons (good reasons !) and the OS technology changed often in the last 10 yrs, for starters the switch from MacOS to OSX using cocoa/carbon, then on windows from Win32/GDI to wrappers to GDI and DirectX/Direct3D .. or maybe now they're also using OpenGL, i don't know ... it's getting hard to follow all this development unless you're directly involved on a daily basis.

« Reply #140 on: January 08, 2015, 14:23 »
0
Quark... a program you can basically remove from your resume listing, as a graphic designer.  InDesign was so much easier to use, I boycotted Quark as soon as it came out.  Hated it ever since day one.  I would only work with printers who would accept InDesign files, and they learned fast that they needed to do what their customers wanted.  The company I worked for would put commercial printers out of business just by pulling our jobs from them, after price hikes or general stupidity. 

What do you guys thinks this means for us, with Fotolia?  I honestly am not sure.  I guess we will have to wait and see.  I hope they improve our sales, and no more undercutting or fleecing happens.


 

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