Adobe Acquires Fotolia For $800M In Cash

IMPORTANT UPDATE ON FOTOLIA - 2020.01.01Fotolia has closed in 2019 and no longer exists as a stand-alone agency. You can still find all their images in Adobe Stock‘s library.

More importantly, you can switch your Fotolia account to Adobe Stock, transferring all your existing credits and unused image downloads, so you don't miss out in downloads you already paid for.

Click here to switch your Fotolia account to Adobe Stock.

As part of their quarterly earnings announcement, Adobe last night also made public their agreement to acquire Fotolia. For the acquisition, Adobe states it will pay $800 million in cash.

Adobe is the global leading software company for creative solutions including Lightroom, Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere. Fotolia is one of the leading micrstock agencies, offering more than 34 million files created and submitted by thousands of creatives from around the globe.

We have also covered a contributors view on this acquisition on MyStockphoto.

The background for the acquisition

Adobe is in the process of moving from selling boxed software towards a subscription model called Creative Cloud. With the Creative Cloud, subscribers are able to use the different software Adobe provides, such as Illustrator for vector graphics and Premiere for video editing, for a monthly fee.

Fotolia LogoThe almost 10 year stock agency founded by Oleg Tscheltzoff, Thibaud Elziere and Patrick Chassany way back in 2005 is one of the top 5 stock agencies worldwide. Along with stock photos, Fotolia is offering an extensive library of more than 34 million files such as vector illustrations and videos. Fotolia also invested into logo creation marketplace Wilogo and audio marketplace Audiomicro.

$800 Million in Cash

With the agreement, Adobe is said to pay $800 million in cash for the stock agency. This is about one third of the market capitalization of competing agency Shutterstock which is listed at the New York Stock Exchange.

Fotolia had received a $150 million financing through American based investment company KKR in 2012.  With the usual investment cycles of 3-5 years of investment funds, it was expected for some time how the investment would be capitalized over the next year or two.

This deal also mirrors the acquisition of stock design marketplace Creative Market by Autodesk and the raise of $61 Million capital into Pond5 earlier this year.

Integration of Fotolia into Creative Cloud planned for 2015

Adobe announced that they expect the acquisition to close in the first quarter of 2015 and plans to integrate the Fotolia offer into the Creative Cloud. There was no specifics on how this is going to happen but as Fotolia already also offers subscriptions for image buyers, it is no hard to come up with the idea of offering a combined solution for software and content. Adobe also had products like Behance offering portfolio pages for artists as well as their creative market place allowing the paid exchange of design elements amongst its subscribers.

With Creative Cloud, Adobe says to have running contracts with more than 3 million paying customers. This would open a wide market for the Fotolia offers. While the number of active customers at Fotolia is undisclosed, Shutterstock says it has about one million of active customers.

Also, Adobe stated that Fotolia will remain up as a standalone offer and stock agency as it was in the past.

Additional Insights – Audio-Interview

Because of major impact of this news, I have decided to create my first (Audio) Interview with stock photo and technology veteran Paul Melcher. We discuss the impact on the stock photo and Microstock market as well changes which might affect Fotolia's contributors.

Or you “watch” the full interview below (or on Youtube). Now tune into the 20min interview and don't forget to tell us your thoughts on the comments below or on Youtube. (NOTE: The video is still uploading, please be patient if it's not loading).


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Amos Struck
Amos Struck

I am a publisher and entrepreneur in the stock imagery field. I focus on providing knowledge and solutions for buyers, contributors and agencies, aiming at contributing to the growth and development of the industry. I am the founder and editor of Stock Photo Press, one of the largest networks of online magazines in the industry. I am the founder of Microstock Expo, the only conference dedicated to the microstock segment. I created several software solutions in stock photography like WordPress plugins. Plus I am a recurrent speaker at Photokina Official Stage, and an industry consultant at StockPhotoInsight. I am passionate about technology, marketing and visual imagery.

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