As someone who has designed the odd book cover or two, the launch of Adobe Stock has gotten me a little excited. Many creatives will be completely over the moon with the new product. Shutterstock, however will not be.
But why will this affect Shutterstock?
Shutterstock is one of the biggest royalty-free image providers available to creatives who want to purchase cheap stock photos for digital manipulation. In the past, the only competition to Shutterstock have been similar companies who provide an identical service. While Shutterstock has a wide array of images to choose form and their content is usually relatively cheap, so is the case when it comes to its competition, namely, Fotolia, Dreamstime, Corbis Corp., Google Images, and Flickr.
However, now that Adobe has brought Fotolia, things are looking less than rosy for Shutterstock – along with all the other royalty-free image providers. After all, now that Adobe has released Adobe Stock, creatives can now purchase Fotolia images directly via their Adobe product (for example, Photoshop or InDesign) rather than use Shutterstock.
But why is this a game changer for Shutterstock?
People who spend all day every day manipulating images such as those from Shutterstock or Fotolia have to purchase these images before they can alter them. Technically they don’t have to purchase their Shutterstock images. They can still go ahead and manipulate the pictures, but with the Shutterstock watermark present across the image, they have the daunting task of taking note of every change they make to a Shutterstock image just in case they decide to purchase the image after manipulating it.
While many would just say, buy the Shutterstock image, then fiddle with it via Photoshop. But, if your business revolves around custom image design (for example, if you are a book cover designer), then you may have to present several concept designs to a client before they pick which image they want to proceed with. Imagine having to purchase 10 or so images from a provider like Shutterstock and only really needing one of those images? This is why many creatives will download the free watermark image from Shutterstock, manipulate them and then present them.
With Adobe Stock, you can use as many of the Fotolia water-stamped images as you like via Photoshop and Adobe’s other creative products. Then, when your client has decided which image they like, the creative can then purchase that item via Adobe Stock, and, voilà, the watermark is removed – and you didn’t need to take a single note on how you manipulated the image like you would with a Shutterstock image!
If Shutterstock wants to compete with Adobe Stock, about the only option they have left is to drastically reduce their stock image pricing. Something that may or may not work for Shutterstock. After all, if paying a little more for an Adobe Stock image means a creative doesn’t have to purchase multiple – and potentially wasted – images in order to get the one image a client loves, why wouldn’t they pay a little bit more?
Will you consider changing from services such as Shutterstock to Adobe Stock because it makes your job easier? Let us know by commenting below!
[Image credit: Shutterstock screen capture]