Adobe Inc is one of the biggest tech companies in the world, and it leads the creative software space for decades with industry-standard, professional tools for creating and editing content, like Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator.
They’re also the owners of Adobe Stock, a stock photo service fully integrated into Adobe Creative Cloud, which is a cloud-based platform with all their apps and services.
Adobe is a huge company with a strong global presence, and today you’ll get a better understanding of its operations through the analysis of the latest Adobe stats.
Before we start, know that we based this report on the most up-to-date Adobe statistics and data from Adobe's fast facts published, and through their investor relations communications, also from trusted sources and sites –which you'll find named and linked–, as well as on our own insider knowledge as we have collaborated with the company for a long time. However, we cannot offer any guarantees over the numbers and stats shared, and they are for informational purposes only.
Okay, let's begin! Here are the main Adobe stats everyone needs to know:
|Founders||Charles Geschke and John Warnock|
|HQ||San Jose, California, USA|
|Incorporated||October 1983 in California; reincorporated in Delaware, May 1997|
|Company status||Publicly traded (NASDAQ)|
|Initial public offering||August 20, 1986, at a split-adjusted share|
price of US$0.17
|Net worth||$202.33B (May 27, 2022 – according to Macrotrends.net)|
|Average share price||550.46 (according to Macrotrends.net)|
|Revenue||$15.79 billion (2021)|
|Net income||$4.85 billion (2021)|
|Subscribers||26 million on Adobe Creative Cloud (2021 – according to Prodesigntools.com)|
|Library size||263 million+ images|
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Per the Adobe Annual Report 2021, they amassed $15.79 billion in total revenue in the last year. It represents a 22.7% increase from 2020. As you can see in the table below, their annual income has been on a positive growth trend for several years:
Having a closer look at revenue, we can see where their earnings come from:
|Revenue||2021||Compared to 2020|
|Services and other||$657 million||-11%|
There is a significant takeaway from this breakdown: Subscriptions make up the largest revenue stream, 92% of total revenue, to be precise, and went up 25% in 2021 compared to the same segment in 2020. It is interesting because many consider this metric (subscriptions) the best indicator of a healthy business.
So let's see how that subscription revenue splits down, too:
|Subscription type||2021||Compared to 2020|
|Digital Media||$11.04 billion||+25%|
|Digital Experience||$3.8 billion||+27%|
|Publishing and Advertising||$146 million||-5%|
Adobe has several subscription offers, divided into digital media, digital experience, and publishing and advertising.
Digital media, which comprises Creative Cloud and Document Cloud services (more on this in the Creative Cloud section below), is the most lucrative and has brought in $11.04 billion, or 73% of subscription revenue. Let's quickly see that broken down by segment, too:
- Creative Cloud service brought in $9.54 billion, that's 23% more than the previous year – indeed the most substantial revenue stream for the firm. Adobe says this increase in income is the result of new subscribers to Creative Cloud.
- Document Cloud, which includes the Adobe Acrobat product family and Adobe Sign service, had a revenue of $1.97 billion, mostly due to strong new user acquisitions, so the firm says.
Cost of Revenue
Regarding the cost of revenue, the total sum for the past year was $1.86 billion. That's 8.3% more than in 2020. And we can also see it segmentized:
|Cost||2021||Compared to 2020|
|Product||$41 million||+ Less than 1%|
|Services and other||$450 million||-22%|
The costs associated with subscriptions refer to third-party hosting services and data center costs, expenses related to network infrastructure operation, even compensation costs associated with network
operations, implementation, account management, technical support personnel, royalty fees, software costs, and amortization of certain intangible assets. These were the highest cost of revenue, however, they represented only 9% of total revenue.
The total cost of revenue data puts the company's gross profits at $13.92 billion.
In 2021 the firm disclosed it had operating expenses of $8.11 billion, an increase of 17.4% compared to the previous year. And they spent it according to the following:
|Expense||2021||Compared to 2020|
|Research and development||$2.54 billion||+16%|
|Sales and marketing||$4.32 billion||+20%|
|General and administrative||$1.08 billion||+12%|
|Amortization of intangibles||$172 million||+6%|
As you can see, sales and marketing was the biggest operating expense, representing 27% of total revenue.
After factoring in some other non-operating expenses, Adobe's 2021 annual income before tax was $5.70 billion, up 36.6% from the year before.
In the last year, the firm's provision for income tax was $883 million, putting its net income for the fiscal year 2021 at $4.85 billion.
This is a decrease of 8.37% from the net in the previous year. Adobe explains this with a rise in operating expenses and an adjustment in the provision for income tax.
Despite this negative sign, Adobe's net income has been in constant growth until now, in fact, this is the first decrease in year-to-year net income in five years; see the stats:
Adobe Share Price
Adobe has been publicly traded since 1986. For those of you interested in the stock market, here is an overview of Adobe's share price fluctuations in the past four years, courtesy of Macrotrends.net:
|Year||Price at Year Open||Highest Price of the Year||Lowest Price of the Year||Price at Year Close||Average Share Price||Annual % Change|
And in 2022 so far, the average share price is at 550.46, according to the same source.
Adobe Stock is Adobe’s proprietary stock media licensing service. Originally built on the base of an extensive catalog from Fotolia –a stock photo agency that Adobe acquired in 2014–the service works as a stand-alone on its dedicated online marketplace and is fully integrated into Adobe’s cloud service.
In Adobe Stock, users can find inspiration and license all kinds of stock media assets to complete projects, be it on the Adobe ecosystem of workflow tools, or downloading assets to work on elsewhere (Adobe Stock has access for all Internet users). More info is in our Adobe Stock review.
Since its launch in 2015, Adobe Stock has continued to grow its offer not only in the number of images but also in terms of media types, licensing options, buying models, and content quality.
Right now, the Adobe Stock offer includes:
|Media||Number of files|
Besides their main offer (paid), Adobe Stock also includes a selection of files available for free download:
|Free media||Number of files|
Note: All Adobe Stock files are available for preview with a watermark to prevent image theft. Here we explain how to download Adobe Stock images without a watermark easily.
Adobe Creative Cloud is Adobe’s subscription-based cloud platform with multiple software tools for creatives. This is one of their most relevant offers.
Here you will find their flagship products Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, After Effects, etc. The over 20 software tools included covering everything: photo editing, video editing, animation, and more. Other valuable workflow solutions to manage different tasks are included, such as Acrobat and Lightroom, or the newer, user-friendly Creative Cloud Express. More details in our Adobe Creative Cloud pricing breakdown.
Creative Cloud is a complete solution for professional users who want to create graphics, edit images or videos, animate content, manage large numbers of files, open PDF documents, and handle electronic signatures of documents, among many other important tasks. Now it even includes generative AI features courtesy of Adobe Firefly technology.
Creative Cloud was launched in mid-2012 and quickly amassed over 500,000 subscribers in its first year. By the end of 2013, it counted 1.4 million users on board. Forbes analysts calculated the number of subscribers for 2017 to be 12 million.
And the guys over at ProDesignTools did the math and concluded Creative Cloud subscribers totaled 22 million in 2020 and around 26 million at the end of 2021.
Let’s visualize that info in a chart:
In communications about their last quarterly report for 2021, the company shared that they continued to experience accelerated adoption of Creative Cloud subscriptions by capturing new subscribers and turning customers from their old, installable Creative Suite products into Creative Cloud subscribers.
This is very interesting to know, as we saw earlier, how subscription revenue represented 92% of total revenue in 2021, how Digital Media subscriptions were responsible for 73% of that income, and how Creative Cloud alone brought in $9.54 billion.
Uses of Adobe Products
The Adobe portfolio is rich and varied, with many different products and offers for digital, graphic, and marketing creatives. So it’s worth checking some metrics on how these many millions of customers are using Adobe. Luckily, the firm shares some interesting facts about this:
- Over 90% of the world’s creative professionals use Adobe Photoshop (you can, too, with this Photoshop free trial!)
- Adobe’s online creative community Behance has 29 million+ members worldwide
- In 2021, over 300 billion PDFs were opened using Adobe products
- Adobe Scan is the leading scanning app on iOS and Android, with more than 138 million downloads and 2 billion documents created.
- Adobe Document Cloud processed over 8 billion electronic and digital signature transactions in the past year. Most Fortune 500 companies use Adobe Acrobat Sign.
The entity also informs about the Adobe community of users. They tell us who its customers are, segmenting them according to the type of service they use. This is what we know:
- Digital Media customers (using Adobe Creative Cloud products mostly) are mainly creative professionals including photographers, video editors, graphic and experience designers, game developers, communicators including content creators, students, marketers and knowledge workers, and consumers.
They use Adobe apps for digital marketing, graphic design, and all kinds of projects where creativity and visual design are involved.
- Digital Experience's client base (subscribers to Adobe Experience Cloud) consists of marketers, advertisers, agencies, publishers, merchandisers, merchants, web analysts, data scientists, developers, and executives across the Creative platform.
Adobe Systems operate worldwide, and so they have users in all corners of the world. However, they have a stronger foothold in some regions rather than in others. In the table below, their revenue is broken down by region, which gives you an idea of where the gross of their customers is located:
|Region||Revenue||% of Total Revenue|
It comes as no surprise that the majority of Adobe customers are in the Americas, and here it's worth noting that, from the $8.99 billion this region generated, $8.1 billion come from the United States alone. By far, their biggest market.
Having been in business since 1982, Adobe has acquired a total of 58 companies so far (according to Crunchbase). Mostly companies related to photography and graphic design. Here you can see a list of some of the most relevant acquisitions Adobe has made in the 21st century alone:
|Company||Acquisition Year||Amount Paid|
|Macromedia Inc||2005||$3.57 billion|
|Omniture Inc||2009||$1.8 billion|
|Day Software||2010||$240 million|
Keep in mind this list is just of the acquisitions made from 2000 onwards, but it paints a good picture of how strategic their purchases are and how much they're willing to invest in them.
Adobe Inc also discloses a lot of details about its staff base, which can be interesting to look into. Here are some of the main points about Adobe employees:
|Number of employees||25,988 (2021)|
|The largest percentage of employees per region||United States (52%)|
|Percentage of women employees globally||33.8%|
|Percentage of underrepresented minority employees per region||10.9% (U.S)|
Adobe prides itself and actively takes steps to ensure an inclusive and diverse workspace, employing people regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, cultural background, or religious belief.
This approach to diversity has so far resulted in them having just over 33% of women on their staff around the world, as well as a 10.9% representation of minorities (people who identify as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American, Pacific Islander, and/or two or more races) among their US employee base.
And there you have it, that is Adobe in numbers. This software titan, with a strong focus on innovation and leadership in the digital creative space, is certainly a complex company. Did you imagine their numbers looked like this?