Adobe Launches Public Beta of Adobe Stock Contributor Site and Plugins

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

When Adobe Systems introduced a stock content service in June 2015, it wasn't just a new source for images and other content. The company also touted Adobe Stock as a money-making opportunity for creative professionals seeking to sell their content online. But until recently, you had to submit content through Adobe's Fotolia service. On Tuesday, Adobe announced a public beta of an Adobe Stock Contributor site, along with plugins for Bridge and Lightroom that allow users to submit content from directly within those programs. This fulfills a promise made this past June, when Adobe announced a handful of new features in Adobe Stock.

Adobe says the site is "fully functional," but "some features will continue to be polished before we release it publicly." As it stands, you can upload photos, vector graphics and video, and submit them for possible inclusion in the service after undergoing a registration process. Adobe pays a 33 percent royalty for images sold through the service.

One interesting feature is "auto-keywording." When you upload images, the site analyzes the content and suggests five keywords. It's based on machine learning (self-learning algorithms) that will theoretically improve the more it's used. I submitted four images and it worked surprisingly well, though I ended up replacing most of the suggested keywords with my own. For example, a photo of a rocky waterfall in California's Big Sur area yielded the keywords "beach," sea," "ocean," "coast" and "rock." It suggested "seal" for a photo of a sea lion, but I suppose it can't be faulted for not knowing the difference between two species of sea mammals (many humans make the same mistake).


The website spells out numerous restrictions and technical requirements, all of which seem reasonable. When making your initial submission, you have to upload a photo ID and complete a W9 form so Adobe can report any payments to the IRS. Uploaded images have to be approved before appearing on the site. Adobe says the process takes a few days.

The new plugins are automatically added to Bridge and Lightroom when you update those programs through the Creative Cloud app. In Bridge, the plugin adds a panel that appears in the Publish window. In Lightroom, it shows up as a Publish Service. In both cases, you drag images to the panels to upload them to the contributor site, but you still have to use the site to apply keywords and complete the submission process. So it doesn't really save much time compared with uploading images through the browser.