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Adobe Stock Review 2022

Pricing, Licensing, & Free Trial

Matic BrozUpdated May 18, 2022

Our Verdict

Adobe Stock offers over 297 million stock images (photos, illustrations, and vectors) at affordable prices with royalty-free licenses. The free integration with Creative Cloud and affordable subscriptions make it the best choice for graphic designers looking for an all-in-one solution.

Pros

  • 297+ million images offer great variety, so you’ll always find the right image for your project. Since most photographers use Adobe products, many of them also share their photos.
  • Creative Cloud integration lets you browse the Adobe Stock library in Adobe apps. So you can try multiple images in your projects and only pay for what you use when you export.
  • The largest free trial among all agencies, which allows you to download up to 40 free stock images.
  • Collection of 1 million free assets that you can use for free, but you must credit the creator and Adobe Stock.

Cons

  • Expensive premium images: There are “standard” and “premium” images. Premium images cost significantly more than standard images and can only be purchased with credit starting at $96.00.
  • Lack of audio selection: Adobe Stock offers 60,000 audio clips, which is a lot, but it can be difficult to find specific sounds, chords, or sound effects.
  • The extended license is available only on-demand, meaning that you don’t get any discounts on bulk purchases.

Best for Graphic Designers

LEARN MORE

on Adobe Stock’s website

5.0

rating 5-0

Photutorial rating

Our ratings take into account a product’s benefits and coverage levels. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Websitestock.adobe.com
Images279 million
Pricing$0.26-$9.99/image
Extended license$79.99
Free trialYes (10, 25, or 40 images)
LicensesRoyalty-free

Who Is Adobe Stock Best For?

Adobe Stock is the best stock photo site with a 5.0/5.0 Photutorial rating and is ideal for creatives who use Adobe’s Creative Cloud because they can browse the Adobe Stock library in apps like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere. Therefore, graphic designers, artists, videographers, and other creatives benefit from this integration, which helps them save money and improve their workflow.

However, Adobe Stock may not be the best choice for users on a tight budget because it’s a bit more expensive than some of its competitors, namely iStock or Shutterstock. However, the differences in image prices are almost negligible.

It’s worth highlighting that Adobe Stock offers the most extensive free trial of all stock photo sites, where you can download between 10 and 40 images for free in the first month of the annual subscription.

Best Alternatives

Most Popular

LEARN MORE

on Shutterstock’s website

5.0

rating 5-0

Photutorial rating

Our ratings take into account a product’s benefits and coverage levels. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Websiteshutterstock.com
Pricing$0.22-$14.50/image
Extended license$67.96
Free trialYes (10 images)
LicensesRoyalty-free
ReviewShutterstock review

Best for Commercial Use

LEARN MORE

on iStock’s website

4.8

rating 4.5

Photutorial rating

Our ratings take into account a product’s benefits and coverage levels. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Websiteistockphoto.com
Pricing$0.22-$9.90/image
Extended license$144–$216
Free trialYes (10 images)
LicensesRoyalty-free
ReviewiStock review

Shutterstock Alternative

LEARN MORE

on Adobe Stock’s website

4.8

rating 4.5

Photutorial rating

Our ratings take into account a product’s benefits and coverage levels. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Websitedepositphotos.com
Pricing$0.22-14.00/image
Extended license$79.00
Free trialNo
LicensesRoyalty-free
ReviewDepositphotos review

Company Overview

Adobe was founded in December 1982 by Charles Geschke and John Warnock and is headquartered in San Jose, California. In addition to stock photo services, Adobe also offers image and video editing software, a portfolio builder, illustration programs, and more in its suite called Creative Cloud.

Adobe reaches almost $16 billion in annual revenue and has over 26,000 employees worldwide.

Type of content offered by Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock offers a variety of stock resources, including fonts and audio clips, but specializes in stock photos and videos.

  • Images: 273 million
    • Photos: 188 million
    • Illustrastions: 22.5 million
    • Vectors: 62.3 million.
  • Videos: 24 million.
  • Audio: 60,000
  • Templates: 70,000
  • 3D: 17,000
  • Fonts: 20,000

Adobe also offers over 1 million free resources, including:

  • Images: 1,022,000
  • Videos: 10,200
  • Templates: 3,543
  • 3D: 1,200

Pricing

Adobe Stock sells stock media with subscriptions ($0.26-$9.99/image), which come in four sizes (3 or 10, 40, 350, 750 monthly downloads) and two commitments (monthly & yearly), and on-demand, which is more expensive, costing $8.00-$9.99/image and up to $119.88 for premium photos.

  • Monthly subscriptions: $29.99–$249.99/month. Monthly subscriptions are more expensive, at $29.99–$249.99/month for 3–750 standard assets, each costing $0.33–$9.99. Alternatively, you can get 3–25 HD videos for $9.99–$22.39. Monthly plans do not come with a free trial. The monthly plans are better when you need images consistently for a couple of months.
Assets per monthPricePrice/assetFree trial?
3$29.99/month$9.99/image
25 (or 3 HD videos)$69.99/month$2.79/image ($22.39/video)
40 (or 6 HD videos)$99.99/month$2.49/image ($14.99/video)
750 (or 25 HD videos)$249.99/month$0.33/image ($9.99/video)
Monthly subscription pricing.
  • Annual subscriptions: $29.99–$199.99/month. Annual subscriptions are cheaper than monthly, but they bind you to a yearly contract. You can get 10–750 standard assets, each costing $0.26–$2.99. Annual plans with 10, 25, and 40 assets have a free trial period, meaning you get 10, 25, or 40 standard assets for free during the first 30 days. The annual plans are better when you need images consistently for at least a year.
Assets per monthPricePrice/assetFree trial?
10$29.99/month$2.99/image
25 (or 3 HD videos)$49.99/month$1.99/image ($15.99/video)
40 (or 6 HD videos)$79.99/month$1.99/image ($11.99/video)
750 (or 25 HD videos)$199.99/month$0.26/image ($7.99/video)
Annual subscription pricing.
  • Credits: $8.00–$9.99/image. Credits are used to buy images on-demand. To get credits, you need to buy a credit pack, which will give you between 5 and 150 credits. The larger credit packs are more cost-efficient than the smaller ones, as you get a lower price per credit. You should use credits when you need images occasionally or if you need content that’s not sold with subscriptions, which includes the Extended and Enhanced licenses, videos, premium images, and editorial content.
    • Standard images: 1 credit (Standard license)
    • Standard templates& 3D: 1 credit (Enhanced license)
    • HD videos: 8 credits (Enhanced license)
    • 4K videos: 20 credits (Enhanced license)
    • Premium images: 12+ credits (Enhanced license)
    • Editorial: 12+ credits (Enhanced license)
Number of creditsPricePrice/creditYou save
5$49.95$9.99/
16$149.99$9.37$10
40$359.99$8.99$40
80$669.99$8.37$129
150$1,200.00$8.00$299
Credit packs pricing (Savings are calculated as price/credit for 5 credits multiplied by the number of credits, minus the price. For example: ($9.99×40) – $359.99 ≅ $40)
  • Free trial: Adobe Stock offers a 30-day trial period where you can download 10 or 40 (depending on your subscription) standard assets (standard images, music, templates, 3D). There are no hidden fees or tricks, but you have to cancel the free trial before the first billing to avoid getting charged.

How Can I Pay?

The best way to pay is with credit cards since the transactions are 100% secure and do not carry hidden fees. Alternatively, they also accept GPay, but Paypal no longer seems to be an option.

Licenses

Adobe Stock sells stock photos under three licenses: Standard, Enhanced, and Extended. Each license is a different form of a royalty-free license. Each comes with other obligations, prices, and uses.

UseStandardEnhancedExtended
Unlimited web views
Email marketing, advertising, social media, broadcasts
Modify the asset*
Transfer the license
Reproduction500kunlimitedunlimited
Used in products for resale  
Product where the primary value is the asset  
Distribute the stand-alone file   
License comparison table

*See Editorial Use Only restrictions.

SIDENOTE. We covered only Adobe Stock licensing for individuals and Creative Cloud for team members. Enterprises should refer to the Enterprise License Page.

Customers Satisfaction

Customers love Adobe Stock for the high quality of the photos and the wide variety; they find good content even on unusual or special topics. For most of them, integration with other Creative Cloud offerings is the most important feature that gives them an edge over their competitors. Every asset you download is saved to your account, even fonts, and audio files.

Some customers complain about few music options and a relatively high price. I’ve also observed some unwary customers complain about the termination fee for the free trial. To clarify: The free trial is free. However, if you don’t cancel the free trial, it’ll turn into a paid plan after 30 days. If you then try to cancel an annual subscription early, a cancelation fee will apply.

What is Adobe Stock Premium?

The Adobe Stock Premium collection contains only the very best images from world-renowned photographers, artists, and agencies. These images have greater commercial potential and are very valuable, making them more expensive than regular images.

Adobe Stock put a lot of effort to make image search as valuable to its customers as possible. When you look for stock images, it’s all about finding the right content, and Adobe intelligent search does that exactly.

In the left sidebar (see the screenshot below), you can filter by categories, price, orientation, number of people, colors, and even depth of field. With the intelligent use of these filters, you can narrow down your search in a matter of seconds to find the perfect image for your project.

How to Download Adobe Stock Images Without a Watermark?

Downloading images without a watermark from Adobe Stock is simple. You can do it with 4 methods.

  1. Use the free trial to get 10 free images.
  2. Download images from a collection of over 1 million free images.
  3. Use Creative Cloud to insert images into a design.
  4. Buy a subscription plan or credits.

1. Free Trial

Adobe Stock has a 1-month free trial during which you can get 10, 25, or 40 free assets. It is free because you can cancel the trial at any time and not pay for anything. This way, you’ll be able to download high-quality Adobe Stock images without a watermark.

How to get Adobe Stock free trial?

Total time: 3 minutes

  1. Go to Adobe Stock.

    Use this link to go to Adobe Stock.

  2. Click on the “START YOUR FREE MONTH” button.

    This will take you to the payment page. Don’t worry. You won’t have to pay anything.

  3. Enter all your details.

    This is to avoid abusing the system with bots.

  4. Click the “Place Secure Order” button.

    You won’t pay anything.

  5. Wait a couple of seconds to get a confirmation.

  6. Start downloading free images.

    Now, you have 30 days to download 10, 25, or 40 free images from Adobe Stock.

2. Free Images

Adobe Stock offers 1+ million images that you can download for free. These images are licensed under the creative commons license, and you must abide by its rules and terms, including attributing the author.

3. Image Download

Unlike other stock agencies, Adobe Stock has two ways to download images; which one you choose depends on whether you use Creative Cloud apps or not.

a) If you’re a Creative Cloud user.

You can browse Adobe Stock’s library in Creative Cloud apps. In the following example, we’re using Photoshop 2022 to browse Adobe Stock’s library and import a photo for free. Then we use the photo to create a design for free, and only pay for the image when we’re done. This workflow speeds any designer’s workflow, which is crucial for successful projects.

Adobe Stock in Photoshop
Browsing Adobe Stock inside Photoshop (2022) 23.2.2.

6 steps to using Adobe Stock in Creative Cloud apps:

  1. Log in to your Creative Cloud.
  2. Open your design apps, such as Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator.
  3. Go to the Library panel and click “Explore libraries“.
  4. Select an image.
  5. Edit it as much as you want.
  6. When done, click on the image to buy it.

b) If you’re not a Creative Cloud user

If you’re not a Creative Cloud user, you can download images from Adobe Stock just like from any other stock photo site.

  1. Go to the Adobe Stock website.
  2. Search for an image using the search bar.
  3. Enter your keyword.
  4. Narrow down your search using filters.
  5. Click on the image you like.
  6. Download it.

Adobe Stock vs Shutterstock

Adobe Stock is better for those who already use Adobe Creative Cloud and enjoy a smoother workflow. In contrast, Shutterstock is better for those who need photos separately from the Adobe Creative Cloud because of its overall lower prices.

The Verdict

Adobe Stock has a Photutorial rating of 5.0 and ranks 1st among paid stock photo sites. It offers excellent stock images, videos, and audio with diverse pricing plans suitable for customers with any budget. Anyone can also get 10, 25, or 40 free stock images during the 30-day trial period that comes with annual subscriptions.

Adobe Stock has diverse customer ratings, ranging from 1.7 to 4.2. While the company’s lower customer rating may seem like a concern, the reviews reflect only a very small portion of all customers (less than 0.01%), since satisfied customers seldom submit reviews. With that in mind, Adobe Stock is still a highly reputable and quality stock photo site.

The dissatisfied customers mostly complain about being charged a monthly fee after the free trial period ends. Therefore, we tested Adobe Stock’s free trial and couldn’t find any issues with the cancellation. As the free trial terms state, you need to cancel the free trial before the 30-day period expires. Naturally, you will be billed if you don’t cancel in time. To cancel the free trial, go to your account settings, and under billing select “Cancel the subscription”.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Adobe Stock any good?

Adobe Stock is very good especially for graphic designers and other creatives thanks to its integration, which allows them to easily browse all content in Adobe apps, such as Illustrator or Photoshop. Adobe Stock is slightly more expensive than some of its competitors, but it pays in terms of improved workflow and image quality.

Is Adobe Stock worth it?

Yes, Adobe Stock is worth considering for stock photos, vectors, footage, music, and other assets. It received the highest Photutorial rating (5.0/5.0) among stock photo sites thanks to impeccable image quality, great variety, the largest free trial, and reasonable licensing terms.

How does Adobe Stock work?

Adobe Stock provides customers (designers, web developers, and social media influencers) with high-quality Royalty-free stock assets, including photos, illustrations, videos, vectors, 3D content, and templates. You pay Adobe Stock a small amount of money for the right to use their content.

Are Adobe Stock images free?

No, Adobe Stock images are not free. However, you can get 10, 25, or 40 free stock images with the free trial when you subscribe to a monthly plan or you can download any of the 1 million free assets, which require attribution upon use.

Does Adobe Stock license Rights-Managed?

No, Adobe Stock only offers royalty-free (RF) licenses. There are three RF licenses: Standard, Enhanced, and Extended, which differ in the allowed reproduction rate, price, and usage rights.

Are Adobe Stock images royalty-free?

All Adobe Stock images are royalty-free. You can buy various RF licenses allowing you to use the image within certain limits.

Can I use Adobe Stock images for commercial use?

Yes, you may use certain Adobe Stock images for commercial purposes. The only exclusion is images marked as “Editorial Use Only”, which may only be used for informational purposes and news.

What is Adobe Stock Premium?

Adobe Stock Premium is a collection of high-quality exclusive images. These are the images contributed by the world’s top photographers and artists. They have superior commercial potential, resulting in higher conversions.

Is Adobe Stock included in Creative Cloud?

Adobe Stock is integrated into many Creative Cloud apps, including Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, Premiere Rush, After Effects, InDesign, XD, Adobe Spark, and Dimension. You can get a 30-day free trial along with other subscriptions.

Is Adobe Stock free with Photoshop?

Yes, Adobe Stock can be free with Photoshop. Adobe Photoshop is available with two plans: the Photography plan ($9.99/month) and the Photoshop plan ($20.99/month). Each plan, even the Photoshop free trial, lets you add Adobe Stock free trial.

Is Adobe Stock free with Creative Cloud (CC)?

You can get up to 40 free images with the Creative Cloud by choosing the Adobe Stock free trial at the checkout. So, Adobe Stock is free with the Creative Cloud only for the first month. After the trial expires, you have to pay for every Adobe Stock image you use.

Is Adobe Stock music copyright free?

All Adobe Stock music and audio tracks are royalty-free, meaning you may use them as many times as you need in any project, anywhere in the world. Even after you cancel your Adobe account, you’re free to use the downloaded assets. You may also use the music for your client’s projects, but only you are allowed to download and use it. Adobe Stock audio is not free with the Creative Cloud. But you can get 10 or 40 free audio tracks with the Adobe Stock free trial.

Are Adobe Stock images royalty-free?

All Adobe Stock images are royalty-free and licensed under Standard, Enhanced, or Extended license. All three are a form of a royalty-free license [LINK], but vary in the number of allowed copies and uses. As a consequence, Adobe Stock does not offer a rights-managed license, making it a non-exclusive stock photo site.

Does Adobe Stock have free images?

Along with paid premium assets, Adobe Stock lets you use free stock assets, including photos, vectors (illustrations), and videos. There are 800,000 free photos, 172,000 free vectors, and 8,500 free videos. But remember—if you use an unmodified asset, you must attribute the creator.

Is Adobe Stock free for commercial use?

You’re allowed to use Adobe Stock assets for commercial use, even the ones you download with the free trial. However, beyond the free trial, the assets are not free for any purpose, including commercial. But since all Adobe Stock assets are licensed with a royalty-free license, you can use them for commercial projects as many times as you want, anywhere in the world.

Is Adobe Stock free for students?

While students and teachers get a hefty 63% discount on the Creative Cloud subscription services, Adobe Stock price doesn’t change. Students still get a 30-day trial but have to pay the same subscription fee as everyone else when it expires.
If you’re wondering why; it’s because Adobe has to pay their contributors for every asset they sell. So, by giving you free downloads, they would become unprofitable, thus sabotaging their business.

Methodology

Photutorial reviewed Adobe Stock based on 14 data points in the categories of image quality and variety, pricing, licensing, image number, customer support, and additional features. Photutorial rated Adobe Stock based on the weighting assigned to each category.

  • Image quality & variety: 20%
  • Pricing: 20%
  • Licensing: 20%
  • Image number: 15%
  • Additional features: 15%
  • Customer support: 10%

Within each category, we also considered several characteristics, the number of images per most popular searches, technical quality, and added value. We also looked at the variety of pricing plans, minimum, median, and maximum image prices, and free trial terms. Finally, we evaluated Adobe Stock’s customer support, licensing, and additional features that would enhance customers’ workflow.

Information provided on Photutorial is for educational purposes only. Your situation is unique and the products and services we review may not be right for your circumstances. We do not offer financial advice, nor do we recommend or advise individuals to buy or sell particular stocks or services. Performance information may have changed since the time of publication. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Photutorial adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. To the best of our knowledge, all content is accurate as of the date posted, though offers contained herein may no longer be available. The opinions expressed are the author’s alone and have not been provided, approved, or otherwise endorsed by our partners.

About the author

Matic Broz profile image
MATIC BROZ

Matic Broz is a photographer, graphic designer, and stock photographer. For over ten years he's been helping photographers improve their photos and graphic designers find the best images for their designs. His work has been featured by Lifewire and PetaPixel. In his free time, he enjoys photography, hiking, and petting random dogs. Read more

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