Adobe Stock Contributor Review

Our Adobe Stock Contributor Review contains everything you need to know about selling stock media with Adobe Stock.

Make informed choices about where to sell your stock images. Is Adobe Stock right for you as a contributor? Read on to find out.

Part 1: Adobe Stock Contributor Royalties

When Adobe bought Fotolia in 2015 and launched Adobe Stock alongside it, one of the first things they did was to increase royalties. An increase in royalties – that's a rare sentence in microstock!

As you can imagine, that quickly got contributors interested in the new Adobe Stock.

Since then sales have continued to grow as Adobe Stock has been integrated with the Adobe CC suite of apps and heavily promoted. Now they are one of the top earners for many contributors, with very regular sales.

They also have a minimum payment structure in place for large corporate deals, which means you never see the terribly low royalties that you get from iStock.

If they continue with the same growth for the next few years, then Shutterstock has some serious competition on their hands. It seems most contributors are actually quite happy to see that scenario.


33 - 35%


Stock photos
Vector illustrations
Footage (including 4k)


Credit packs
High-volume corporate rates

Part 2: Adobe Stock Contributor Website & Apps

Up until late 2019, Fotolia continued to exist alongside Adobe Stock while they built out features on the new site.

Now, the Adobe Stock contributor site is fully featured and quite easy to use. They still add new features from time to time, but all the essential ones are already in place.

Features include:

  • FTP upload
  • Simple model release attachment
  • Automatic keyword suggestions
  • Automatic category suggestions
  • Real-time (or close to it) sales reporting

Perhaps some of the things lacking at this stage are robust portfolio tools, such as a variety of ways to search within ones own portfolio. Also, while there are ‘Collections' this seems quite limited and the public display of it isn't the best. But I fully expect these kind of things to be improved over time.

At this stage they don't have a dedicated mobile app for contributors. But the website is responsive, so it works well on all devices, allowing you to work on the run.

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Part 3: Adobe Stock Contributor Earnings Experience

Let's go back to where Adobe Stock came from for a moment: Fotolia.

Many were turned off Fotolia prior to 2016 due to their cuts to contributor commissions.  At one point Fotolia’s rate was just 20% commission for new independent photographers.  This raised to 23% after 100 credit sales (subscription sales equaled only 1/4 of a credit sale).  Then the scale continued to climb, but most photographers would likely stay in the measly 23% – 25% royalty range for some years. Terrible to say the least – yet they did sell a lot of images.

Thankfully, this has all changed as mentioned above due to the Adobe purchase. People were nervous when Adobe announced the acquisition, but surprisingly all the changes made were for the better. A website revamp, royalty increases, friendly customer relations. Credit where credit is due – Adobe got this one totally right.

Because of this, contributors really started getting behind Adobe Stock and they haven't been disappointed.

Sales are very regular and it's not just subscription sales either. Many contributors are ranking Adobe Stock in their top 3 or so microstock agencies, with some even now finding they are out-earning Shutterstock!

While 33% isn't the highest royalty in the industry, it does feel sustainable and therefore unlikely to change. Many of the agencies that have started higher at 50% or even 60% have lowered it drastically, disappointing contributors along the way. But it feels like Adobe has settled on a workable arrangement for the long-term.

Adobe Stock Contributor Review Highlights


Regular daily sales


33% photos & vectors, 35% for video


Modern website, features added often


Photographers, illustrators & film-makers

Part 4: Adobe Stock Contributor Recommendations

As you've seen, our Adobe Stock contributor review is a positive one. They are highly recommended. There's really no reason not to join them as a contributor.

The upload process is easy and the website works.

Image acceptance is high and review times are decent, usually within a few days of submission.

They seem to sell equally well for photos as vectors, and video sales are about on par with other decent agencies like Depositphotos.

These days it's rare for a new agency to come along that you can recommend so clearly. In hindsight, that's the great thing Adobe Stock did – they made their ‘new' agency not so new by purchasing an existing one that they could improve. Great move on Adobe's part that is paying off for all involved.

If you're serious about selling stock, then you need to become a contributor at Adobe Stock.

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