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Author Topic: Adobe Customer Advisor survey - considering offering stock subscriptions  (Read 14391 times)

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« on: October 16, 2014, 12:20 »
+5
I just completed a survey for Adobe's Customer Advisor Team about what types of stock subscriptions or single image purchases I'd consider buying from Adobe.

They may never get there (they've tried the stock route in the past, twice I think, and it's never worked, but that was pre-CC, so perhaps things have changed) but one interesting aspect was that they were considering subscriptions with monthly limits that had a rollover option and wanted to know if that would make me more likely to buy from them versus a competitor.

As a contributor, subscriptions with rollovers become massively cheap images (which I don't like); as a vendor, it's not clear how they can handle royalties if there's no cushion from the buyer not using their full allotment.

There was no discussion of the size of the library or content, just questions about price and options (monthly vs. daily limits); perhaps no one considers the content matters any more as the libraries are so large? I assume they'd partner with someone and use their library, but I wonder which of the existing agencies would let them have content with a rollover option (Deposit Photos comes to mind as they have no apparent ethical concerns over any business terms).

I can't see why there'd be any appeal from the buyer's side in doing business with Adobe vs. one of the agencies. As a supplier, the partner programs just mean more people other than me taking a cut of the buyer's money, so I can't see it as a good thing unless it expands the market in some way (which I can't see it doing; I'd assume anyone considering this would already be a customer of one or more other agencies).


Uncle Pete

« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2014, 12:46 »
0
Adobe has a recognized name and client base. Some might never have used Microstock or could be introduced to new options. Some might not like dealing with less reliable and untrusted sources. (not saying anything is wrong with the top four on the right, but there are some questionable "agencies" that sell stolen images?)

As for the rollover, sounds counter productive. Unless the fee is much higher per image than Subs, in which case buyers would get a fixed number for a fixed price. In which case, why an expiration or need for rollover? Oh I suppose, as long as the contract is valid. Someone leaves, they lose the credits? Rollover doesn't make sense.

Did they say fair prices and 50% for artists?  ;)

cuppacoffee

« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2014, 12:55 »
+8
...I can't see why there'd be any appeal from the buyer's side in doing business with Adobe vs. one of the agencies.

The world of Adobe plug-ins is vast and expanding fast. Being able to purchase a stock photo or illustration without leaving Photoshop or Illustrator (or InDesign or Dreamweaver, etc.) could be lucrative and designers would love it. I see a scenario where the stock image option would become just another toolbar window that you click on without leaving the project you are currently working on. I'm sure that they are already testing something like this.

« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2014, 13:08 »
+5
Adobe made a failed attempt a few years back to get into the stock business. It didn't work for them. I assume now with the CC, they have a more captive audience, and could roll a few million (hey, how hard can that be; I can see the submitters line forming from where I sit) images into the mix for a few extra dollars a month. I surprised it took so long.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2014, 08:28 »
0
Seems they're trialling it with a little free content at the moment. I've just seen a Creative Live Dave Cross tutorial from yesterday where he downloaded a free image (which he specifally said "Adobe has paid someone for") to demonstrate a specific smart object functionality, but it also showed how seamless finding and downloading the content is. Seems I'm a couple of weeks behind with CC2014, so I'll need to let my PS update to get the Library etc functionality I jus watched.

Justanotherphotographer

« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2014, 09:07 »
0
There's an "assets" on the CC panel thingy that looks like stock illustrations from various people. Never really looked into it but I think they are free to use? Could be connected to that, maybe they are going to expand it into a paid offering.

« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2014, 09:16 »
+9
There's that nasty word again... subscriptions.

ShadySue

  • There is a crack in everything
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2014, 09:22 »
0
There's an "assets" on the CC panel thingy that looks like stock illustrations from various people. Never really looked into it but I think they are free to use? Could be connected to that, maybe they are going to expand it into a paid offering.
Yes, 'assets' - that was it.

« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2014, 12:39 »
+2
I think it safe to say that most, if not all of these big companies look at content creators as a bunch of assets.

« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2014, 12:51 »
+3
There's an "assets" on the CC panel thingy that looks like stock illustrations from various people. Never really looked into it but I think they are free to use? Could be connected to that, maybe they are going to expand it into a paid offering.

Maybe this is the "test" that Dreamstime wanted the free images for.

« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2014, 13:08 »
+2
I do not see a bright future for Adobe. Most of the customers who will buy an Adobe subscription are now on board. They are not going to grow the number of subscribers much further.  They therefore face a growth issue. Investors want to see growth.

They may believe that they can meet expectations by gradually turning up the price of subscriptions. In order to do this they are likely to be looking for ways to increase the perceived value of an Adobe subscription (because in terms of features the products are already, frankly, bloated). Personally I doubt that users want clumsy content integration.

Bad news for Adobe is that perhaps 70% - 80% (this is my guesstimate) of their customers are using less than 30% of the functionality of the Adobe products. These core features (and more) are going to be included free on the software which ships with Macs, iPads etc. Or a cheap (and often less bloated and more modern) app is good enough - now that print is dead, bar the shouting. Eg - the latest Pixelmator costs less than $30 and is now fully 16 bit.

cuppacoffee

« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2014, 13:51 »
+2
Adobe software is a staple in big, big corporations - advertising and marketing, publishing, merchandising and textile design just to name a few. You might be thinking of personal users but Adobe's market share of the industries that create content other than for the personal artist or photographer is huge.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2014, 13:55 by cuppacoffee »

« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2014, 14:07 »
+2
I do not see a bright future for Adobe. Most of the customers who will buy an Adobe subscription are now on board. They are not going to grow the number of subscribers much further.  They therefore face a growth issue. Investors want to see growth.

They may believe that they can meet expectations by gradually turning up the price of subscriptions. In order to do this they are likely to be looking for ways to increase the perceived value of an Adobe subscription (because in terms of features the products are already, frankly, bloated). Personally I doubt that users want clumsy content integration.

Bad news for Adobe is that perhaps 70% - 80% (this is my guesstimate) of their customers are using less than 30% of the functionality of the Adobe products. These core features (and more) are going to be included free on the software which ships with Macs, iPads etc. Or a cheap (and often less bloated and more modern) app is good enough - now that print is dead, bar the shouting. Eg - the latest Pixelmator costs less than $30 and is now fully 16 bit.

I guess you haven't been reading what Adobe has been working on lately. Lots of smaller mobile apps. Lots of integration. Very interesting stuff in my opinion. I'm still kind of old school, but they definitely seem like they are preparing for the constantly evolving/future market. I don't know if they will get it right, but it seems smart.

« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2014, 14:11 »
+6
I think it safe to say that most, if not all of these big companies look at content creators as a bunch of assets.

Assets?  I thought in this context it was spelled asshats.   :P

« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2014, 15:03 »
-2
Adobe software is a staple in big, big corporations - advertising and marketing, publishing, merchandising and textile design just to name a few. You might be thinking of personal users but Adobe's market share of the industries that create content other than for the personal artist or photographer is huge.

Big companies use what their employees use. Adobe users will increasingly be seen as the previous generation IMO.

Fewer and fewer people need these big bloated old fashioned programs in order to achieve the results they want. And the big bloated suites may actually slow people down.

I guess you haven't been reading what Adobe has been working on lately. Lots of smaller mobile apps. Lots of integration. Very interesting stuff in my opinion.

No I have been completely following them. Other companies are doing much more interesting stuff today. They're kind of like Microsoft in the sense that big companies still use them but they never do anything interesting anymore.

Adobe apps are not going to generate the sorts of incomes which their investors are used to - nor the sorts of revenue growth which investors expect. And tech and new media stocks are in trouble now anyhow (SSTK got close to the 52 week low several days ago). The apps they have shown so far have been rather lame - if they were a startup you would ignore them.

cuppacoffee

« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2014, 15:18 »
+1
Big companies use what their employees use. Adobe users will increasingly be seen as the previous generation IMO.

Employees come from schools that teach how to use the software that is the industry-standard - Adobe. Art and Design schools as well as technical schools teach only with the Adobe programs. That will not change. I will mention again that these programs can be customized for special industries. For example, I work in textile design for a billion dollar company and there is an Illustrator and Photoshop plug-in to create fabric prints, sweater knits, wovens with textures and thread counts, auto generation of color swatches and more. There are no other programs that offer that feature. I also worked in print publishing and there were special plug-ins that would do ink separations, embed swop parameters for special papers, pre-flight files to look for errors and much, much more. The cheaper programs don't offer these options. I worked in catalog production and the integration between Illustrator, Photoshop and Indesign was seamless. What other programs can do that?

« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2014, 15:40 »
0
Employees come from schools that teach how to use the software that is the industry-standard - Adobe. Art and Design schools as well as technical schools teach only with the Adobe programs. That will not change. I will mention again that these programs can be customized for special industries. For example, I work in textile design for a billion dollar company and there is an Illustrator and Photoshop plug-in to create fabric prints, sweater knits, wovens with textures and thread counts, auto generation of color swatches and more. There are no other programs that offer that feature. I also worked in print publishing and there were special plug-ins that would do ink separations, embed swop parameters for special papers, pre-flight files to look for errors and much, much more. The cheaper programs don't offer these options. I worked in catalog production and the integration between Illustrator, Photoshop and Indesign was seamless. What other programs can do that?

You are absolutely right that there are specialist industries and specific cases in which it is hard to imagine Adobe products being replaced. In the same way as Avid, Premiere and Final Cut have dominated video production.

But Adobe as it exists today is not sustainable on the basis of a relatively few , relatively specialists users.

For that reason I would suggest that the survival of the products is a different question vs the survival of the business in its current form. Because a few very high end users are not gong to be enough to satisfy the expectations of investors and markets which expect continual growth.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2014, 15:46 by bunhill »


« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2014, 16:21 »
+2
But Adobe as it exists today is not sustainable on the basis of a relatively few , relatively specialists users.

But that IS the whole market. It's a bunch of specialized creatives that know how to use a suite of software and jump from niche to niche within that market. I don't really see that changing much unless people start doing more 3D or holograms or something totally different.

« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2014, 08:30 »
0
But Adobe as it exists today is not sustainable on the basis of a relatively few , relatively specialists users.

But that IS the whole market. It's a bunch of specialized creatives that know how to use a suite of software and jump from niche to niche within that market. I don't really see that changing much unless people start doing more 3D or holograms or something totally different.

What has changed is that Adobe growth (investors demand growth) now seems to depend on gradually increasing the cost of subscriptions. Since everyone who wants a subscription is now signed up.

But increasing the cost of subscription, in concert with the increase in viable alternatives to Adobe software, might very well have an equal but opposite effect.

cuppacoffee

« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2014, 11:46 »
+1
Big businesses don't buy cloud subscriptions because of security concerns. Many stock analysts rate Adobe a Buy. Year to date, ADBE is outperforming Technology sector by 1.45%. Over last week, ADBE is outperforming Technology sector by 2.99% (info as of Oct. 17, 2014).

« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2014, 14:15 »
0
I think offering stock subscriptions is just a way of adding a "all in one" feature to their products. Stay in Adobe indesign, and just download their images as you want them. The reality is Adobe is being slowly pushed out of the marketplace as more and more handheld devices are being sold instead of the computers. Ipad and iphone come built in with Apple's video editing and you can buy or download free apps to handle photos, no Adobe needed. Of course Adobe will still maintain its market share for graphic design/creative - for now.
 
Another factor to remember is that most of the patents that Adobe has on it's products are expired after 15/20 years. That's why you're now seeing clone products now popping up. Remember Microsoft Office? Now you have Openoffice and Google Drive for free. That's also why you have subscriptions now, to lock you in to Adobe while other less costly options start to appear. Who knows? Maybe Getty Images is already doing another "sweetheart deal" with Adobe as we speak. Another $12 (or less) for an image perhaps? ::)

Micky_Mango

« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2014, 14:37 »
+1
I think offering stock subscriptions is just a way of adding a "all in one" feature to their products. Stay in Adobe indesign, and just download their images as you want them. The reality is Adobe is being slowly pushed out of the marketplace as more and more handheld devices are being sold instead of the computers. Ipad and iphone come built in with Apple's video editing and you can buy or download free apps to handle photos, no Adobe needed. Of course Adobe will still maintain its market share for graphic design/creative - for now.
 
Another factor to remember is that most of the patents that Adobe has on it's products are expired after 15/20 years. That's why you're now seeing clone products now popping up. Remember Microsoft Office? Now you have Openoffice and Google Drive for free. That's also why you have subscriptions now, to lock you in to Adobe while other less costly options start to appear. Who knows? Maybe Getty Images is already doing another "sweetheart deal" with Adobe as we speak. Another $12 (or less) for an image perhaps? ::)
Open Office has nothing to do to do with 'patents that Adobe has on its products', it is an entirely different animal and has been around since 2000, when Sun open-sourced its own internal software.

« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2014, 23:44 »
0

Until Adobe starts to really make an effort to understand stock image licensing (which they never did in the past and which is why they blew it with what they tried to do before), they're doomed to repeat past failures.

Given their history in this area, I can't imagine that this survey marks the significant change in perspective that Adobe would need to pull off a stock offering.

I also still don't see the need for an in-app image browsing experience. Every time I've seen any software company try to build this sort of functionality into an app it ends up being clunky, slow, awkward, etc. At least more so than a simple web browser would be. And it's not too time-consuming to just pop open a browser window and load up Shutterstock or whatever site.

Adobe wants into this market, and they see their software as the way in. I just wonder if they really have the means to inject stock purchasing into their software in any meaningful and usable way. What can they offer that will really make me stay in-app to buy images, that makes the buying experience better than the mountain of options I already have outside of the software?

« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2014, 00:27 »
0
"...an in-app image browsing experience..."
Is that sort of what Canva is doing?

« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2014, 01:04 »
0
"...an in-app image browsing experience..."
Is that sort of what Canva is doing?

No, that would be an in-browser app experience.


 

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